On Burnout, Writer's Block and Moving On

I've been feeling rather burned out lately. Well, make that very burned out. You know when you feel stressed and exhausted. Physically, mentally and spiritually.  It tends to happen when I put on a happy face too long. When I smile and push back and ignore that stress.  But there comes a point when you just can't anymore.

I used to write a lot when I was younger. Being published was a big goal of mine.  Then along came a time of extreme burnout and I got blocked. Sometimes I joke that I have had writer's block for over 10 years. Words used to flow from me- poetry, stories, etc. But they stopped. In the basement I have a box full of pretty books and journals filled with words. And seeing those books make me a little sad. Sad that I don't write much anymore and sad to see how my pretty books have been replaced with cheap 17 cent notebooks bought during school supply season at Target. And those notebooks don't exactly scream inspiration!

I think that tends to be the cause of burn out in moms. They put themselves last in a long line of responsibilities. They don't feed themselves and they lose their identity as a person and become simply "mom".  So I am trying. I've admitted to myself that if I want to feel better- I do have to take care of myself some.  I am trying to relax some of my requirements and checklists. I am trying to find time to do something for me- that has nothing to do with the kids.

But still, life goes on. Kids still need me, dinners need to be made, laundry needs to be done, the house needs to be swept and animals need to be fed and cared for. We sold Johnny last week. That was hard for me. Animals are a soft spot for me and I need to learn that we can't keep every animal that lives here on our farm. Especially the bucklings. Johnny was the first kid born here. And he was very sweet.

But in exchange for Johnny, we got Poppy. She's a Nubian doe, with one kidding under her belt. That is about all I know about her and she is still pretty skiddish around people. We are slowly trying to warm her up to us, but she still runs and comes back to eat once we've gone.

We should find out in the next couple days if our bid for the Nubian buck from the Carl Sandburg Farm was accepted. And if it was we will also be looking to rehome Thor...which I am sure will be equally as hard to do.


  1. good point that we need to keep hold of those other parts of our identity. :)

    your new doe is so pretty!

  2. I have been praying for you. I hope you feel better soon.

  3. Try some animal crackers for your new doe. I've found that goats LOVE LOVE animal crackers. I've won over quite a few skittish goats that way- treats and moving slowly, quietly and being consistant.

  4. You're right on about the causes of burnout. We think we can ignore it, but eventually, the stress eats us alive.

    You mentioned you once loved to write, then experienced some serious writer's block. Have you heard of The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron? I'd heard of it for years, but finally picked up and started reading/working it a few months ago. It truly is life-changing, in a very good way. I still have kids. And a house. And a job and way too much to do. But now, for the first time since, oh, becoming a mother nearly 15 yrs ago, I'm starting to consistently put myself on the list too.

    Good luck!

  5. I will remember you in my prayers!