Burn out …

by tamarjacobson

Quote of the day:

This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don't wait.” Natalie Goldberg

Write for ten minutes … go …

Nothing left to say. I've said it all. Passion is depleted. Paradoxical to write about burn out when I feel burnt out. Writing is all about self expression, inspiration and passion. How does one write passionately about burn out? It is a little like taking a horse to water and then forcing her to drink. Pushing the head down into the bucket and holding it there. The horse does not fight it. Just lays there and opens her mouth slowly lapping the water softly at first, aimlessly, mainly to please the owner. Which reminds me that I awoke out of a dream where the "powers that be" had thrown away all my clothes and left instead a number of garments that looked exactly the same. Like a uniform. I thought to myself, in the dream, I am in prison. At first I thought it doesn't matter really because I am old. But what about the young people with me? It wasn't fair to force them to wear a uniform. I started to shout at the authority figures in the dream. "You can't do this!" … and then I awoke. I lay in the bed trying to experience the atmosphere of the dream through my senses, and slowly rose to drink coffee, play Internet Scrabble and water the plants. There was an aimless, resigned feel to my actions until I sat at the computer and found myself writing this post.

About burn out.

Of course … suddenly I discover what all this is about. Yesterday I pitched my idea for a new book. I had been excited about it for days – felt alive and alert and looking forward to the writing of it. But, oh well – someone had just recently done a book very similar to what I was proposing. These things happen, and of course I can still write it – perhaps for a different publisher. Because, write it I will – write it I must. It feels like a legacy sort of thing and something I want to do for teachers of young children out there. And as I write this piece now, I realize that at some level I struggle with the feeling that I am entitled to leave a legacy. I mean, who am I after all? Just some teacher educator somewhere. So, where do I get off thinking my legacy is worth anything. 

And now I see that I am not writing about burn out at all. Because even if my captors throw away all my beautiful, new clothes, and force me into a uniform of my old-ways-of-thinking-about-myself-mind, I can shout out to them, "You can't do this!" 

Because I deserve to leave a legacy of my life's work as an early childhood educator, and feel my worth in this way.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Last looks