3/11/21: Can We Stop Glorifying Burnout

“Have your ppl call my ppl.”

Perhaps the most used line in TV sitcom history to describe how 2 ppl, often friends, are so busy, that to get together even for a phone convo, they need assistants to set up a call.

You’ll notice I’ll often refer in these posts to lines in sitcoms, movies, tweets, etc., bc they’re a peek into how our society is evolving (or not). The writers of each reflect what they’re hearing most frequently in everyday life; & that’s what resonates & keeps ppl engaged.

And so, one big problem I’ve noticed is – just how much we glorify the busy executive. Doesn’t matter the industry: accounting, finance, education, sports, law, health…the impression is, if someone’s busy, they’re wanted/needed, bc they’re good…& that proves their worth. 

We defer to this even when we personally check in w one another, right? The “How you doing?” is either answered w a simple “Good” or…a maybe as common “Ya know, crazy, busy.”

True talk here – I’ve been sharing some of my ups & downs recently…& Theo’s someone I go to often, as a friend, when I’m feeling burned out…bc he gets “it” & we can be real w each other. We had a late nt call 2 nts ago, where we had to present & I wrote him after & said: “Dude, my mind just went BLANK for the 2 min  before that presentation. I was toast.”  Maybe bc of breathing practices & resiliency exercises, I somehow got thru it & performed…but at the end of the day, this is NOT good.

So, I share that bc I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m a recovering workaholic & I go back to my “comfort,” often. If my vice was alcohol, I’d be drunk all the time.

I’m calling on media, TV, radio, film, to start making balance the new sexy. Not in a “self-care is important” type of cliche way. I’m talking full on showing the dad being cool for spending time w his kids. The mom being cool for working a job, but also finding time for Girls Nights.

Listen, I know it’s on us, to find balance. To carve out time. But there’s also this image we need to change – that having no time for the simple pleasures in life: family, food, sports, vacations, is a way of showing our value & worth. It’s not.  We don’t need extremes to normalize balance. We don’t need to show men in Lululemon pants doing yoga poses all the time. Or women w cucumbers on their eyes & facial masks. Those things, while great, again are cliches. 

We need to highlight characters in shows, movies, magazines, & online who play 007 or Wonder Woman, or a top CEO – yes in their work in the boardroom & the field w deadlines & kick ass projects, but also in their roles as moms & dads, husbands & wives. We have to stop glorifying that all work, all the time, is the measure of our worth & our cool. It’s not, & that belief, unless we change it, is killing us.

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