Last week, I hit a critical mass point. I’m convinced everyone hits it at some point. It’s where you have too many things to do, too many people pulling at you, and are 150% out of resources. I hit that critical mass point last week. It felt like no matter what I was doing there was some major task left undone. Someone was disappointed, someone seemed angry.
Quite simply, I had major burnout.
I needed to get away. Part of me kept thinking, “I have too much work. There is no way I can leave.”
But, leave I did. I got on that Amtrak train, and watched trees, leaves, lakes and rivers fly by as I sped toward my destination. I arrived in Washington, DC exhausted. I leaned on a good friend, and for three days I lived in a cocoon of rest, relaxation, and rock and roll. There were massages, there was good food, lots of driving, and the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary concert.
During my time there, my friend and I had a conversation about expectations. We had taken a lunch break during a marathon shopping trip to Tysons Corners, and I was explaining how hard it can be to be a recovering people pleaser while sensing obligation to keep up with every demand, email, text message, Facebook message, phone call, wall post, tweet, Instagram comment, and any other outreach.
“It’s exhausting,” I explained.
My friend looked me in the eye, and said, “Once you’re comfortable disappointing people, life becomes much easier.”
I stopped eating. “Wait, I need you to repeat that.”
“Once you become comfortable with other people’s disappointments, your life becomes much, much easier,” she kindly repeated. She took a sip of her water, and continued. “Everything is like a dance. If you change the steps, someone’s toes are bound to get stepped on. Eventually, they learn the new dance.”
“Or they find a new dance partner,” I added.
“Yes, but would eventually happen anyway. You just need to let some people go. But why be the only one unhappy all the time? What’s the point?”
And so, right there on that table at La Madeleine in Tysons Corners, I decided to start disappointing people. It was like my friend shoved a small elephant off my back. I felt lighter. I felt free.
I made the decision to take more road trips.
This week’s playlist are some of the songs I discovered this weekend while playing around on Sheara’s badass Sirius car radio (I need AltNation in my life,) but it’s meant to be a combination of great workout music paired with the best road trip soundtrack ever. I hope it calls out to any of you who need to run away from home for a while to make the jump and just escape. Pack up, take off for a little bit. Two days isn’t going to kill anyone, and it helps you remember that running on empty is just no way to live.
Stop. Make a plan, then just escape.