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Where’s My Head At?

Posted on September 24th, 2005

So I’ve been noticing a bit of a disturbing trend lately: a near-complete inability to focus on my part.

Some examples:

– Going to Sobey’s to pick up some frozen shrimp with a really sweet buy-one-get-one-free deal. When I get to the store, I only pick up one bag of shrimp. Talk about a crappy buy-one-forget-to-get-another-free deal.

– Leaving Sobey’s after the aforementioned lapse in attentiveness. On the way out of the store, I only collect two of the three bags of groceries. I return later in the evening feeling (and looking) like an idiot.

– Attempting to do homework. Recently, I have only had around 30 minutes of juice. Per day.

While all of these have not been particularly catastrophic events (I haven’t failed out of school.. yet), I think that they are fruits of some weird activity in my head.

The Embassy is going to have a retreat next weekend and, for some reason, I have had absolutely no inclination to go. Now, I have been on retreats before and I’ve had a good time there. When Kat first asked me if I was going, I gave her some pretty bogus excuses (like needing time to do my school work or trying to save my money). From that point, I pretty much clammed up and refused to volunteer any sort of detailed information (a behaviour I used to exhibit notoriously often).

That night, I was thinking about why I didn’t really feel like going. It certainly was not about the time or money. It was not about the people. It didn’t take long before I pegged down the problem: I was (and still am) burnt out. Allow me to explain:

I’ve been going pretty steadily for around 2 years nonstop. Most people get vacations, summers, or some form of break, but I haven’t been quite as fortunate. Last Christmas was spent dealing with a plethora of problems with the Feds (as part of a very grueling eight months), and this “summer” break was spent developing a website (that still has not seen the light of day thanks to some really stupid server issues) and getting a start on Campus Ministries. On top of all of this were the regular things that tied me up at the Embassy: Communications and various discussion groups.

If I were to name a catalyst, I think it would have been the website. A lot of things about it brought me a lot of stress: waiting on other people (but there was no getting around this), problems with the development server (it liked to die at the most inopportune times), coding (something I still do not love to do), and conflicts with the IT guy (which still persist). I can go on, but I think the point has been communicated.

I spoke at length about this to Sarah and, sadly, this is the type of thing about which she’s not surprised to hear. Moreover, it is also the type of thing about which she can’t do anything. Nor can most other people. (I’m hesitant to say “anyone else” because I’m sure that there is someone out there can do something).

The result of all of this is fairly simple: I do not feel joy in doing service right now. Some may argue that I don’t need to feel joy; I should suck it up and remember that I am doing this for God and not myself. I’m afraid, though, that I have to disagree. I feel that I should be happy to serve God (as opposed to feeling burdened by it). And when challenges arise, I should feel content that I can get through it.

But this is currently not the case. Instead, I find myself doing things because they need to get done. That, in my opinion, is a very dumb reason to do anything. But this does not mean that I want to drop everything that I’m doing; I still want to be involved with the Embassy, and I’m not even sure that they have the resources to fill in if I did leave.

I feel that this is the type of thing that needs to be dealt with personally (with God’s help, of course). I’ve told people, but I am expecting nothing to come out of it (although I’m not in the mindset that would prevent anything to come out). So if you see me in a bit of a sullen mood, I probably have this on my mind. But do me a favour: don’t ask how it’s going; It should be fairly self-evident when things are going well again.

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