Remember that movie Click with Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale? The one wherein our protagonist happens to receive a remote that influences/controls life?
Yeah, I need one of those.
I started 2017 with all these hopes of dreams of making this a successful year. Foolishly, I made a resolution list even though I’ve never been known to stick to it.
I was going to be fit and have abs (look out, Captain America), write more (with dreams of publication), read more (an art I miss gravely), and save my money (which I don’t make enough of). So far?
- I’ve been on a pizza diet which has rendered all sings of fitness and abs obsolete.
- Writing? What’s that? Who has time to write?
- Reading.. okay, I’ve been better here. Slightly.
- Money… well, please see bullet point one. Also? Student loans. Also? I have bad self-control when it comes to all things nerd.
That’s how 2017 has been rolling with me so far. It’s definitely not a bad year! See below:
- I have a nephew now of whom I’ve only met once due to living in a different state, but he’s a little guy I love to death.
- I have a great job teaching middle school English and directing the Drama Club at my school.
- I have a new car (yeah, maybe that’s another thing worthy to mention about finances).
- I’ve enjoyed the company of some pretty great friends.
However, I have to say I’m hitting a wall in many ways, and, honestly, I’m super burned out. So… why not blog about it? I mean it only helps me procrastinate the Mt. Everest of things I have to do. Seriously, I have five to-do lists. They don’t get shorter fast enough.
Lately, my desire to dive headlong into my writing has been growing exponentially. Ironically, this always happens when I have no time to write. Usually, my creative spurts occur at the worse possible times. I really think it’s a curse. If writing stories is my superpower, then the timing of the creative bursts in which I’m inspired to write is my ultimate weakness. I mean, with great power comes great costs and unforeseen side effects. That’s how it goes, right?
And maybe it’s not so much about time as it is that when I do get a moment to slow down from grading papers, I want to just sit and do mindless things such as watch TV (we all know I watch almost everything on the air) or play Destiny 2.
And I think it’s becoming quite a problem that I don’t know how to fix.
Maybe the solution seems simple to those of you reading this. It may seem easy to say, “Josh, prioritize, for crying out loud! Do better! Make sacrifices! Turn off the TV! Stop playing video games!” but it truly is not that simple because in those “slow down” moments, my mind is fried and video games/Netflix is a loyal comforter that seems to whisper, “There, there, buddy! You’ve done a lot today. Just relax and we will ease your mind.”
Sidenote: Not sure why video games/Netflix just sounded super creepy there. Hmm.
Anyway, I come home from teaching and late night rehearsals with Drama Club, and I turn into a zombie (that eats pizza, of course). Papers to grade continue growing, lesson planning seems harder than it should be, and exhaustion sets in. This leads me to not want to make dinner, but order it–which has become a severe financial problem. When I’m not at home, I’m living, breathing, and eating school and, mainly, the Drama Club program. Sometimes it keeps me up at night, haunting me, taunting me in the form of my long-lost characters that are pleading with me to continue writing their story.
But their story is frozen because their creator is burned out.
And it’s only the second month of school! One of my closest friends keeps telling me, “Dude, you have to learn to balance. Make time for yourself.” He’s 100% right (don’t tell him I said that!), but I don’t know how to do that. How do I balance such demanding tasks? How do I stop indulging in mindless activities when all my mind needs is a break?
I need one of those Click remotes.
Or maybe I need somebody who isn’t afraid to kick my stubborn butt into accountability.
Or maybe I just need more pizza. Pizza always helps.
I don’t really have a solution to this blog post. This is a super rare occurrence of me just speaking what’s on my mind. Why? It’s therapeutic. Is it actively solving anything? Nope. But if feels good to air it out.
Yesterday, I was so pumped to leave my apartment the next day to go write one of my stories. But then I was bit by a tick, had to go to the doctor to get checked out, had to do laundry (literally the worst!), and now? Well, it’s midday and I have grading to do and school to prepare for by tomorrow. Not to mention my amazing middle school stars have a play in less than two weeks that I’m helping to oversee–we haven’t even touched the spring musical yet. That alone has a mountain of “to-do’s” that haven’t been started yet.
I just need time. More time because what’s happening to me right now?
It’s stunting the stories I wish I could tell, locking away Chelsie the Orphan, AJ the Pastor, and Jamey the Hero in a prison within my mind. Their voices are being drowned out by the noise of life and, I fear, they are perishing ever so slowly to a fate worse than the one I have planned for them. If something doesn’t change soon, I’m not sure I’ll be able to tell their stories anymore. If I can’t figure out a way to figure out this balance thing my best friend told me about, my three heroes will never save the dark world I’ve intricately created (and destroyed) in their debut novel. If I can’t let their voices be heard, my unrelated middle school character, Garrett, will never truly figure out if his teacher is, indeed, The Crimson Watcher.
All these stories I want to tell are the very ones suffering because there’s not enough time in the day–or when I do have time, my mind is so far fried, I can’t transcribe the complex lives of my characters.
I can’t even manage to keep mine in order.
So… does anybody have a magic remote they want to let me borrow? Maybe even the Time Turner that Hermione Granger used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?
Or maybe you have an idea/some advice to offer so I don’t burn out completely, thus eternally damning my characters to an unspeakable fate?
Maybe I just need a vacation. Who wants to go to the moon with me? I’ll bring the pizza.