I like to keep busy, like really really busy. Like so busy to the point that the only time I am ever home is to sleep and even that’s only a few hours a day. But when exhaustion hits, what do you do?
When I was in high school I remember waking up at six in the morning and heading to school by seven, then I’m in classes til four to which I headed to my after school job at the local mall where I start work around five until closing which was nine. Then it was home and staying up til midnight working on homework. I also did my homework during classes and my lunch hour. Weekends weren’t much better, I was working for morning til early evening then it was homework.
There were summers during those years where I would work up to seventy (70) hours a week. Which, when you look at numbers doesn’t really seem like much, until you add in chores, homework, etc. I was always busy.
College wasn’t much better, beyond the full class load (or since it was me definitely more than the minimum full class load), and homework and studying (mind you I majored in electrical engineering), I was also holding down two part time jobs at twenty (20) hours per week per job, AND tutoring kids in high school and college out in the western suburbs… kids as in plural as in up to four kids per semester at up to two hours per kid. I don’t really know the meaning of rest.
Adulthood I work like crazy, but I also have hobbies like crazy… to give you an idea of what I do for fun, just take a look at my “original bucket list” post.
So… nowadays being in theatre doesn’t help the “resting” part of life, there is a mental and physical toll that it takes. Switching mindsets between my day job, my evening hobbies, and the little things I do in between without the proper decompressing period… that takes its toll too.
For years I have had methods and ways to combat fatigue and extreme exhaustion, because I’ve been through it before… more than enough times. However, now I’m beginning to wonder if my body’s finally giving me the “last straw” approach. Who knows.
So what happened? In theatre for a week prior to Opening Week there is something called “tech week” where all the technical pieces of a production are put together with the staging, dancing, acting, etc. Sometimes everything can come together really smoothly, or it could be crazy as “hell”… thus the moniker “hell week”. But with this current production, it wasn’t hell in any stretch of the imagination, I was able to get home at a semi-decent hour. I think I was just getting tired because I was going from the office straight to rehearsal for five days straight and my body was feeling the exhaustion.
Add to it that aspect that I was fighting a cold / cough and my body just isn’t getting the rest necessary to recuperate adequately from illness, it was just pulling my energy reserves into an all time low. Still I refused to let anyone know what was going on (keeping it to only the most observant and necessary) because in the end, through all the pain and illness and fatigue it was worth it.
I remember, once upon a time, resolving myself to think and believe in the thought that I wanted to live life where everyday before I go to bed I do so saying, “Well that was fun, but now I’m tired.” The euphemism being that, no matter what happens in the night, as long as I had fun… I go out enjoying life.
Morbid, I know… but death is an inevitable part of life. If you’re not willing to face it head on then you might as well be dead.