Long days

In high school I used to wake up around 6:30am, shower, do my hair and makeup, and often would have to be at school by 7:30 for jazz band practice or some other club meeting.  I would then go to class until 3pm, followed by either some kind of sports practice or going to work.  Then I would rush home (or to Subway), grab a bite to eat, and go back to the school for play practice where I would stay until 9 or 10pm.  After that I would go home, do homework, go to bed, and then get up and do it all over again. 

I never thought a thing about it.  I never felt fatigued or overworked.  I loved all my extra-curricular activities and I didn't dread school.  I didn't complain about going to work or practicing sports.  I just did it, mostly with joy.

Somewhere between then and now, something has changed.  I don't know if it's laziness, old age, or a change in responsibilities, but now I feel so tired and emotionally drained at the end of every day.  I get up later, get home earlier, and have way fewer extra things happening outside of school.  Why do I feel so much more tired?   Why do I feel so much more pressure and get so depressed about my life?

Perhaps then I didn't know any better.  By that, I mean, perhaps I was so busy and put my nose to the grindstone so much that I didn't have time to feel tired or defeated.  Sure, I still had bad days back then, lots of them... but looking back I can't ever remember feeling the way I do now at the end of the day.  I can't remember crying over all the stress or shutting down and doing nothing because I was just too overwhelmed.  

Maybe it's because I bear more scars now than I did back then.  Life happens, and inevitably you go through hard things.  I went through hard things then, too, with friends, family, and boyfriends, but now I feel as though things are so much heavier.  This is sad because the truth is that my burden is light because of Jesus.  I know that he is my redeemer and that I move forward in life because he made me his own.  I know this, and still I feel so weary. 

Maybe it's because I'm an adult and married and have to be responsible for so many things at home that I didn't before.  Maybe it's because school now includes more than just classes, but giving therapy to people who have a real need and will be impacted forever by how I help (or don't help) them.  Maybe it's just because I'm a graduate student and I won't feel this way so much when I'm finally out in the working world.  Maybe it's because I've lost sight of who I am in the sight of God and I don't live in a way that reflects my joy in knowing him.

I wish I had an answer for why things seem so much more difficult now.  Don't get me wrong; I still do fun things, and have friendships, and am madly in love with my hubs, but I'm praying that I can fight fatigue, laziness and anxiety, and press on with peace, joy, and confidence that God has called me to this specific place for a reason.  I want so badly to find joy in it because of that.  

I'd really like to know, am I the only one that feels this way?  Surely not.  Kyle and I talked about it and I know he's in the same boat as I am.  We both feel far more worn-down than people only in their mid-20s ought to be.  When you look back on younger days, do you wonder what happened, or are you still the same person you always were?  


Shannon Leigh Anderson said...

You girl, YOU ARE NOT alone! :)
I fight it off EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if I don't fight it off I plummet into some kind of pathetic paralyzed- hyper sensitive, lazy, anxious puddle of goo.
AND I am exactly like you. I don't know what happened! BAck then I was truly happy-go-lucky. I think maybe we just start to feel the real weight of the world instead of being oblivious?
Keep fighting girl. The Lord is faithful.

The Girl from the Lane said...

Ah, I so feel you!! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder where my energy went! I believe a lot of it is that you get to a point that you realize this is "make or break" now. Everything you do has real purpose behind it, and that causes stress. It takes the fun out of things I guess. Not that I don't enjoy my kids, Matt, and just life in general, but maybe you get what I'm saying. Hang in there! Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed the best thing I can do is to remember to give it all up to God, and that seems to help with the stress. Have a great day!

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Oh boy, I feel like I could have written this post.

In high school and college, I was all over the place and involved in so many things! Recently, I've been starting to cull things from my schedule because it's overhwelming and I'm way stressed. It's odd because I'm doing less now but work is much more stressful (I think) than school ever was. It's definitely a strange thing to feel this tired at 27.

sarah said...

you're not the only one. i am exhausted all the time. i feel lazy when i feel like resting, mainly because i always feel like resting.

i used to do SO MUCH. even in college in photo classes, i worked, went to class, and stayed in the lab making photos until 9 every night. i would die if i tried that now.

Emily Corson said...

I can't believe I am reading this. I had this exact same conversation with John today. This baffles my mind too as I try and figure out where the daily happiness has gone and why the gloomy feeling has entered. Who is this person? I think a lot of it has to do with growing up, making decisions, and being responsible for things you once didn't have to be responsible for. (Which brings about new situations and emotions.) Hang in there friend, and no that you are not alone in this. Still give thanks in all circumstances, for he is good. I love you!

Jillian said...

Amen sister.

Having a baby drains you to the max too,
I keep wondering how people are still getting everything done with 2...or 3. haha.