Deeply, deeply tired. So deep I swear I heard my soul yawning…
On the weekend I climbed a mountain. It was a small mountain, but a mountain nonetheless. The weather in the Pacific Northwest has been our traditional soggy, grey, wet rain and bone chilling cold. We haven’t seen the sun in awhile and the days barely achieve what could be called daylight.
Sunday was sunny. This was not something that could be wasted inside on the couch, although I may be banished from my football pool for not watching the playoff games on Sunday. To be honest, my team successfully, and easily, won on Saturday, in my mind, I had satisfied my football fan requirements.
It was an easy decision to grab our microspikes and head to Grouse Mountain. As it was for the majority of the Lower Mainland. The parking lot was packed. Completely full. But didn’t sway my desire to get out and hike. The majority were not hiking up,but rather taking the gondola up to enjoy the breathtaking views of the city, the water and the other mountains. According to my activity tracking device, we climbed 1020 metres. The trail was green and lush, and I heard birds chirping, it almost felt like spring. It wasn’t until we reached the top that we ran into snow and required the use of our spikes to get up the remaining short, yet slippery, segment of the mountain. After a short rehydration break, we fell in line to take the gondola back down. The gondola took all of 4 minutes to make the descent, which is much preferred to the knee-destroying and lengthy journey back down the trail. As I stood waiting to get on the breathing-room only gondola, I thought to myself, “F*#k, I’m tired!”
I realize that I have felt tired for months. I was tired before I woke up, but at least I had climbed a mountain so there was a reason to be tired. The cool, crisp mountain air felt refreshing on my face and even better in my lungs, but I was still tired. I did not experience the same rejuvenation that I usually achieve by exerting myself in the wilderness. Why am I so tired?!?
Before the holidays, I was becoming tired at work. That feeling, that can only be described as burnout, was starting to settle in and I knew that a vacation was not only desired, but required. I took two weeks off. I rested. I read my books. I wrote. I hiked and camped and went to the gym. Did I rest? I would argue that the Christmas Holidays are inherently stressful. With an element of family and friend togetherness that is not always what we want to do, but what we should be doing. And of course, with time off of work, there is a compulsion to “make the most of it” and to eke out every possible moment to “enjoy the vacation time”.
Now the holidays are over, work has resumed and I still feel that deep down tiredness, that is as deep as my bones, despite the amount of hours of sleep I attempt to achieve each night. It could very well be the time of year, the slow down after the holidays; the excitement, anticipation and the obligations all being met and over can leave an exhaustion. The weather is also a likely contributing factor. The sun hides for days at a time while the rainy, greyness takes over. But these are not new things, and yet I feel more tired than ever before. Is this a being in my 40’s thing?
At the risk of sounding depressed (I’m not), or complaining, (I don’t want to), or even seeking sympathy (let’s not go there), in all honesty, the everyday hamster wheel has started to spin out of control. Between going to work, going to the gym, and ensuring I eat, have clean clothes and don’t get attacked by dust bunnies, the days seem too short to get everything done, but too long with the amount of tasks. The activities I love to do for my “leisure”, reading, writing, photography, hiking, running, all feel like work. They have, hopefully momentarily, turned from “I get to” do’s into “I should be” doings. The weekend arrives and I feel relieved, but the wheel just doesn’t stop spinning. Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that ever-spinning wheel and momentarily just get off of it? Would I even allow myself that break? Or would the ‘Should do’s’ and pressure of daily necessities weigh too heavily to enjoy a break?
Happiness is a great decision, one I made, and continue to make, quite some time ago, and unlike previous experiences, I am happy. I am hopeful and I have a positive frame of mind. I’m still choosing and endeavouring to be Present, Brave and Kind. But f*#k, I’m tired!