Exhaustion Is Overrated

I don't know if you could tell lately, but I'm pretty busy.

Quick rundown: I work full-time at The Hotel, and we're about to dive headfirst into wedding season. I teach three or more times a week at Pure Barre. I workout every night during the week, and Saturday and Sunday mornings. I study for my Pure Barre classes every night, and when I can during the day. I'm constantly finding some way to prep for Miss Vermont. Oh, and I occasionally like to eat and get a good night's sleep.

I choose all of that.

I have welcomed all of that into my life.

But you know what happens when you get this busy? You get tired, sure. You start wishing for just one day to sit and watch The Office in bed with only a box of Cheez Itz by your side, yes. Maybe most importantly, it starts to become very easy to buy into everyone saying, "You must be so exhausted. You must be so worn out. You must be so sick of XYZ."

I'm not.

I'm not so exhausted because I am putting in work that matters. I'm placing my efforts into things that mean a lot to me, and I am absolutely seeing the benefits. I'm not so worn out, because those benefits are just fuel to my fire. Seeing a happy couple, hearing "great class, thank you!", feeling myself get stronger, more competent, more prepared, more successful - that's motivating. I'm not so sick of any of this. I will keep choosing it, every day.

I think this notion of if you're working hard, and you're working so much, that you're automatically walking a constant line of exhaustion and death, is just wrong. You aren't. Or if you are, you shouldn't be. I mean, have you ever heard, work smarter, not harder? That's what I've been doing - because I'm already working as hard as I can.

My plate is full, absolutely. Heck, so are my salad and dessert plates. I only have so many hands, that can carry so many metaphorical plates of responsibilities, and dreams, and goals, and commitments. So I decided last fall when all the things started piling on, it was time to just work smarter.

It was time to just decide what was important and lose the rest. Which, you might think just boils down to managing my time, right?

Well, yes. But it means more than that. It means I wake up at 4:30 A.M., and study. It means I run on the treadmill, and answer interview questions out loud. It feels almost like I'm Demi Lovato and preparing my pipes for tour except she's way more talented. It means I cook food for a week so that I have one less thing to do every night. It means I am working weekends, and still getting a workout in. It means I am running a Friday night rehearsal, and still getting walking practice in.

It means prioritize. It means, that I have to decide every day that being a little tired first thing in the morning is worth a day of productivity. It means that when I crash into bed at 9:30 on a Friday, I know that I have worked as well as I can, all day long.

Look, other people are busy. Other people have full plates. And I'm all about that.

I'm not all about people assuming I'm exhausted, that I'm going to burn out, that this is going to be too much. It's not, I'm in this.

One of the most constant things about working for something - your goals, your big dreams, your dream job, your dream title, whatever - is that you are constantly in a state of growth. You are constantly forcing improvement on yourself. You decide if that is going to burn you out, or exhaust you. Or you can decide if it's going to be the steam that keeps you going.

And if we're being honest, if your goals leave you feeling burnt out, and exhausted, you might need to reevaluate. There is nothing attractive about exhaustion. You are not impressing me by being so slammed all the time. I don't think that you're so amazing because you sleep 4 hours a night and eat when you remember.

You impress me when you're working towards what you want, when your plate is full, when you're giving it your all - and you're still taking care of you. You workout, and you get a good night's rest. You grind all day long, and your professional goals get bigger. You eat well, study your paperwork, walk your walk, and still keep the reality of the situation at hand.

It isn't like this is easy, and it certainly isn't for everyone. I've been doing this for 6+ months, and it took exactly the right motivators to push me to this point. To push me to focus on how I can dig deep every single day to keep getting better, without breaking myself down.

I'm not recommending that you go out and grab a second or third job, and three hardcore hobbies, and also radically change your fitness routines. But if your plates are already full, and it feels more like you're about to drop them every day, I'm saying you need to think about smarter not harder.

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