It has been almost one year since I have written on this blog. My energy, my strengh, my talents... have been sent into the air. Into the sky. Very few have witnessed or felt why I am here. Why am I a mother, daughter, wife, and friend. I have spent the past year putting everything I am into one tiny part of my life...my job. And I am spent.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure (or what I felt was pleasure) assisting Mr. Jim Harris at an educational conference. Mr.Harris discussed "compassion fatigue". A really fancy way of saying burnout. Burnout is very common in the childcare profession. Low pay, little value, physical and emotional tolls all contribute to this condition. Many of us nodded our heads as Mr. Harris listed the characterstics of compassion fatigue. He was talking to a room full of believers. Believers that compassion fatigue was negatively effecting their lives.
I am no longer a childcare provider. I have a job that allows me to train childcare providers. I love teaching these ladies. I learn from them. I am inspired by them. I truely feel that teaching and guiding these women who I feel are our nation's heroes. Those who care for our our most vulnerable citizens.
So why was I nodding my head at Mr. Harris? Compassion fatigue has seemed to taken a reverse toll on me. While I attack my job with gutso and excitement, my God-given duties as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend are left alone. I go through the motions of these roles, but I fall flat. I am tired. I am joyless. I often am humorless. I am just there. And that sucks.
Yesterday was my 39th birthday and all I wanted to do was clean my house. I didn't want to talk to anyone on the phone. I didn't want to go shopping. I didn't want to have friends over for dinner. I am not finding the joy at all, ever. I am not depressed about being 39. That does not bother me. I am depressed that another year has vanished quickly.
Today I was off. I took Jack to school, came home and took a shower and then spent two hours watching a violent televeison show. And then I went to sleep. I am down and out and I know it.
I tried to motivate myself in a positive direction. Looked up some stuff on creating a budget. Pinned some ideas on Pinterst. And then I decided to check out a blog that I never read anymore, Chatting with the Sky. As usual, Emily Freemans' blog has moved me. And inspired me.
I have decided that instead of posting statuses on Facebook, I would begin blogging. And I would begin my own 31 day series: 31 Days to Coombat Passion Fatigue. Wow. I have no idea where this journey will take me, but surley it will take me UP!
I will start by including the symptoms of compassion fatigue, I have put a * by the ones that I am suffering.
Normal symptoms present in an individual include:
• Excessive blaming *
• Bottled up emotions *
• Isolation from others*
• Receives unusual amount of complaints from others
• Voices excessive complaints about administrative functions *
• Substance abuse used to mask feelings *, too much wine!
• Compulsive behaviors such as overspending, overeating, gambling, sexual addictions
• Poor self-care (i.e., hygiene, appearance) *
• Legal problems, indebtedness
• Reoccurrence of nightmares and flashbacks to traumatic event
• Chronic physical ailments such as gastrointestinal problems and recurrent colds *
• Apathy, sad, no longer finds activities pleasurable *
• Difficulty concentrating *
• Mentally and physically tired *
• Preoccupied *
• In denial about problems
I am setting a vague goal to motivate me to move forward. Two words: clean living. Right now, it makes sense to me that clean living may lead to a focus. A focus on how to move forward.
I am going to try to link up to 31 days, but I am unsure that this is still an option. That I am doing this is what matters.