May 5, 2007

CH11 Fatigue & Reality

Filed under: Creating, MiniNovel, publishing, TVC, Writing — techish @ 2020 UTC

The last four and a half years has really changed me or it’s really worn me out – I’m not really sure which. When I first started my current job, it was part time. The job grew into 3/4 time, which grew into full time.  I work on site part time and I telecommute part time. When you telecommute, there is a tendency to work much more than you would at an office. For a long time I viewed the same way I viewed putting in the extra time between classes and above and beyond homework – as another means to bettering my skills. Because that’s the way the job had morphed over the last few years, that also meant it was less and less time I was able to devote to school. I cut my classes to half time or less. I stopped taking summer classes all together because that’s our busiest time at work. I let my independent business go under because I didn’t have the time or energy to do both jobs.

Then the job started to change as well. I was doing less and less real design work. I was doing less and less web design / development until it virtually disappeared from my job all together. Before I knew what hit me my job had become mostly typeset and layout for course packs and not much else. I fought it whenever possible, but that’s just the way the ball bounces – jobs change.

My health began worsening after about 2 yrs on the job, and many things in my personal life began to fall apart. If you’re health is bad and you find yourself miserable in general, and miserable in your job too, you have to stop at some point and examine this dilemma. Is it you? Is it the job? If you can find answers then you can make some changes to make things better, but it’s very hard to break out of a slump if you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Before I knew it, another year had passed, and another. I’d taken classes one or two at a time here and there, but at least twice two semesters without any classes had passes and I had to reapply at UAF before I could register. I was so close to finishing it wasn’t funny, but each time I thought I was taking my last two classes, something came up in the middle of that semester that caused me to either miss classes, or miss assignments, or otherwise made it impossible to finish the class;  illness, injury (auto wreck once), or work. Work always came first, and more than once work won out. Even when I thought my health issues had cleared up, they also got worse.

Fatigue and reality are something all college students have to deal with. Having a family to take care of, a demanding job, getting sick, loved ones’ lives ‘getting in the way’ – I didn’t feel like I was experiencing anything more or differently than anyone else. But at some point I had to give in to the reality that I apparently was not able to handle it as well as others do.

Truth is, I was burnt out. On work, on school, on life. I’d tried taking a little leave from work here n there and had taken breaks form school for work, but it was evident to me that I’d burnt out in all areas when no matter how many times I tried to make things better or to try harder, I was just getting worse.

Again – the challenge with this chapter is to tell what happened without getting bogged down with the pity party. To write without whining!


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