Battling Burnout: Savouring the future

About the title: imagining a positive future is as important now as it was a year ago. The big difference is that I’m not on the hunt for a long-term relationship -luckily, I’m still very much in love. Also, long-term goals are a no go at the moment since every somewhat challenging goal has become totally overwhelming.

It’s not easy to describe negative feelings without turning to hollow clichés. This is where author Charles Bukowski comes in handy:

Too often, the only escape is sleep.

At the moment, any day but especially a day without anything to look forward to can quickly turn into this kind of dreadful waiting game. You don’t want to know how often I catch myself thinking “it’s only 8 pm (or even worse: 4 pm), still so many hours left before bedtime.” Therefore I make sure that I have at least one ‘activity’ at ready for the day ahead, so that I can get up in the morning without immediately losing my sense of belonging.

This activity is always something simple that hardly requires any energy on my part (I seem to have a serious lack of that lately). Also, there can’t be any decision-making involved so my mind doesn’t have to leave its comfy chair, it’s preferably some sort of ritualistic thing.

Lighting the fire first thing in the morning and fetching logs is one of those actions that don’t need any thinking at all, and the result is always great. It was my favourite ritual until sadly enough the weather started changing. Sadly enough, because in spite of what everyone seems to think the sun doesn’t do that much healing, and it’s frustrating to see everyone become happy while I’m not in a joyful place at all. This is one thing that caught me by surprise.

Fire burning bright

It’s so satisfying to sit and watch the playful flames.

On a good day I tried a little morning ‘run’ as well: I merely shuffled along on my worn All Stars Cliff Young-style (very energy-efficient) for no more than 3 km, with my dog Gerard doing all the running ahead of me.

Running on the Chucks that I should’ve thrown away over a year ago.


He’s getting tired, not me.

The thought of having a bath, especially when the stove is lit, is another one of those beautiful things that help me get up in the morning. Remember how I turned the bathroom into a bit of a spa-like retreat with lots of plants? I can soak in that tub for over an hour thinking I’ve only been in there for 30 minutes. On a good day I enjoy some bathtub reading as well.

When I feel totally lost during the day, I comfort myself with the idea that maybe when dusk arrives I’ll manage to go for a walk around the block or a cycle ride. It’s mainly meadows and woods out here so it’s silence and nearly perfect solitude I envisage.

Imagining eating a healthy supermarket lasagna, thinking what it will be like to buy a magazine I love or daydreaming about the visit of a good friend… All of them lovely prospects! Without the faithful stove however, a couple of no-brainer TV shows on home decorating I record daily have become the main thing I wonder and fantasize about in my no-man’s land*.


*Don’t get me wrong: my lovely partner does a great job caring for me and supporting me, but it’s this feeling of detachment, of not belonging I tried to get across.


What makes you happy? Or what touches you? Leave a comment if you like!