I feel like I spent every last bit of energy in my body.
There’s nothing left, I am completely empty. My batteries are drained.
My limbs are numb, my heart has bled dry.
I am a robot on autopilot.
When was the last time I had a good night’s sleep?
When was the last time I enjoyed an afternoon off?
When was the last time I had time for anything?
It feels like it has been an eternity.. and it has.
The last months were unexpectedly tough. I was constantly on the road and filled my agenda with more than would have been good for me. I barely slept, experienced a lot, had plenty of stress, not just professionally, also in my spare time.
I wanted to be someone who savors every second of living – and I overdid it.
A sense of balance, a moment to rest – these things are important to charge one’s energy reservoir before you can give it your all again. But I have pushed the envelope with a half charged battery. I went on an on, always in danger of switching off at any moment.
I should have saved some energy and deleted a bunch of apps instead.
But you know what? I made it through in one piece.
I fought, expanded my boundaries and have reached my goal.
I’m exhausted, but I’m still standing.
You know, our bodies are really much more resilient than we think, and it unleashes its potential when faced with challenges, just like our character is shaped especially in tough times.
Don’t lose sight of your health, but be brave and test your boundaries.
You are able to run farther than your eyes can see, you can function with less sleep than you ever dreamed, you can find the strength to keep going in times of hunger.
The thing is, it’s usually not up to us when times get really intense. It just happens, and often we only notice that we’re already right in the middle of one of these periods when the train has picked up so much speed that we can no longer jump off.
So, what to do when ‘giving in’ is not an option?
How do you keep going?
3 tips on how to keep going when you’d like to throw it in:
Sometimes the thought of tomorrow, the knowledge that you won’t be in the same spiral forever, is all that keeps me getting out of bed in the morning.
I visualize the future, and cling on to rays of hope emanating from days to come. Sure, my job is not terrible, far from it, but it comes with its own challenges. I never have any time off, no weekends. I work non-stop, every single day, sometimes for months on end, and it sometimes feels like it brings me to the brink of madness. Yes, that happens even if you really love your job. Sometimes I just don’t feel like being Masha the blogger. Sometimes I’d rather be Masha, the girl who loves going to the movies, rearranging the flat and meeting friends for a cup of coffee.
Just like most people work and toil towards the next vacation, I often long for the next blissful moment in peace and quiet at home, alone with my cats. This thought is sometimes all that keeps me going.
There is a Russian proverb that roughly translates as follows: ‘the eyes worry, the hands work’. I tell myself that quite frequently, it’s almost like a mantra that helps me to see straight in periods when I feel I’m overwhelmed by work. The thought of all the things I have to do can be utterly paralyzing. All I want to do then is to throw it all in. But this little Russian proverb reminds me that it’s best to not think to much and to get to work. I feel quite sorry for myself sometimes, but this little mantra usually helps me to get myself together quickly and to start somewhere.
Beginning is often the most difficult part, after all.
By the way, whenever my mom asks me how I think I’ll be able to manage all I have planned, I tell her ‘molcha’, which roughly translates as ‘I shut up, do my thing and don’t complain’.
That’s my second piece of advice: head down and charge!
You can do it. All of it.
How often did I hear I can’t do this and I can’t do that. If I’d have listened to everyone who knew everything I can’t do, all those people that let me know I’m not good enough, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today.
We should never back down, and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us what we can and can’t do. And we should really tell ourselves much more often ‘I can do this’. Because YOU CAN DO IT.
The most important thing is to set one foot in front of the other. Sometimes we will make big leaps, sometimes it will feel like we’re treading on the spot, but if we keep moving we get ahead one way or the other. Everything is better than stasis, and few things are worse than not doing something we’d like to do out of fear of taking the next step. Just start walking in a direction, you’ll find your way.
And if you need to take a break along the route, that’s perfectly fine. But don’t forget to walk on once your batteries are charged again. One step after the other, in your own tempo.