Karin Fuller: Recharging the battery
I’ve been late with deadlines before, but always with good reason. On two occasions, I was hospitalized. Another time I was camping in an area so remote we had to drive over an hour to find WiFi. Last month it was a computer virus that cost nearly as much to fix as my computer cost new.
But this week, it was simple exhaustion. From being so spent by my day job I was incapable of anything more than sleep once I was home.
I’m not afraid of hard work, but I am a bit tired of it. I’m craving a little time to coast before I start running again. Time to catch my breath and gather some calm and perspective.
I’ve joked on occasion about becoming a Walmart greeter, but there are times it isn’t entirely a joke. I feel petty, whining about a week that actually ended rather well. Not only did I somehow manage to reach a personal technological milestone, but finished the day enjoying Mexican food on a patio with Don, my boss and her husband. Still, the pace of it all has my head spinning a bit.
The road to those high points was a steep one - so steep it’s caused me to wonder if I’m capable of continuing at this job I have now, if I have the energy and skills, or if maybe I’ve reached a time in my life for something simpler. Slower.
Yet it seems each time I reach this point where I find myself ready to bail, I’ll experience another little victory. And man, those victories are so sweet. So hard-fought.
I’ve never been one to jump jobs. When I first started at the newspaper, I was barely out of my teens. I had bosses who kept me challenged and only occasionally overwhelmed, and I ended up staying 23 years before moving on. My next job, working for the state, was challenging in different ways. It mostly left me unsure of my strengths and what I could offer, so once in Atlanta, I signed on with a temp agency and went that route for a while before finally accepting a permanent position with an international firm.
Where almost every person at our location is young enough to be my kid.
It’s been odd, trying to figure out how I fit, the only resource person in a sea of fresh-faced recruiters, in an industry that’s completely foreign to me.
But I hit the ground running and haven’t slowed for a second, not even during a week-long temperature of 103.
I’m not sure if I was trying to prove something to them or myself, but I kept right on running until I hit the wall. And slid down. Puddled on the floor.
And while I was down there, I watched a half-dozen episodes of “Flea Market Flip.” Snoozed here and there. Felt the breeze from opening my windows and listened to the rain falling. My cat curled against my legs while the dog plopped down near my head. The sound of Don and Celeste assembling a piece of IKEA furniture spilling over into my room, along with the laughter of our strange new neighbors, playing loudly outside in the rain. (I think I’m going to like them.)
It was just what I needed to gather myself.
So, with my battery charged, I opened my laptop and started to write.
Karin Fuller can be reached via email at email@example.com.