6 Poems About Burnout

Today, I sat down to write my piece for Hevria. But I was so exhausted and tired that nothing came out.  Instead, like sweat from a brow, these poems trickled out of my fingers and onto the page.

I’m sharing them with you as a reminder of what happens when we push ourselves too hard, and how there is no glory in that way of living.

1.

It’s a big sign of the state I’m in when for two days in a row, I don’t feel I have the energy to write.
I just want to sit here.
Doing nothing.
Because.
I don’t have any other time.
To do.
Nothing.

2.

In my heart
there is a beating energy.
In my mind
there is a truth
screaming
to be released.
In my soul
there is a mission
waiting
to be lived.
In my body
is the exhaustion
of trying to do it all at once,
and in so doing,
stifling it all at once.

3.

I want to burn
bright in the sky,
light it up like a phoenix
so that people cry from the sight.
But the problem with burning so bright
is that your fuel gets burned too,
too quick to restock the reserves.
And soon, you’re not burning.
You’re burnt out.

4.

I wonder
if I will
ever
learn
the difference
between
working
and
pushing.

5.

Today
I have four meetings
and they all matter.
But around those meetings,
is the pressure
of the important stuff,
the stuff with the delicate whispers,
saying,
“Don’t forget us,
We’re the reason you wake up,
and how you’ll feel okay going to sleep,
and without us,
those meetings
mean nothing.”

6.

Yesterday
I was sick
from work.
From the push
I’d been giving myself
to the edge
of the cliff.
I took a nap,
which moved me a few feet away, back from the edge,
and then,
I pushed myself again.
And today,
I can see the bottom
of the chasm.