On the liberatory power of doing just enough

I didn’t mean to disappear from this blog for a month, but somehow I did. The primary reason was that my work life became mind-bendingly busy and complicated and stressful and kind of awful, but making time for writing was not the only problem. I was so drained by the demands of my professional life that I felt like I had nothing left to give anyone anywhere else. Writing? Who could write!? All I wanted was to snuggle on the couch with my beloved watching MasterChef or reading a romance novel about lesbian astronauts going to Mars. I felt not unlike Blanche Devereaux in that one episode of The Golden Girls where she’s been up all night trying to write a novel.

This gif depicts Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls tiredly declaring, "My brain's gone!"
This gif depicts Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls tiredly declaring, “My brain’s gone!”
But as it became apparent that the blog was moving to the backburner, it made sense to lay low for a while. I am going to be a keynote speaker (!!!) for the College and Research Division at the Pennsylvania Library Association conference in October (program PDF available here). I’ve been asked to speak about—guess what?—burnout. I’d like for the bulk of my material to be new and fresh and not just rehashing of the blog. This means that I’ve been keeping lots of my burnout thoughts to myself as of late.

I still want this blog to be a safe place to talk about these things, so I continue to welcome ideas and submissions for guest posts. Please get in touch if you want to talk.

And in closing, I’d like to offer this bit of wisdom that is maybe not worth embroidering on a pillow, but has been pretty surprising and innovative for this achievement addict: sometimes doing the bare minimum is fine, and the world will not end, and you are not a bad person for doing just enough to get the job done, and this is in fact a valid form of self-care. So take that, all of you overachievers out there!

This gif depicts Dorothy Zbornak from The Golden Girls opening the front door of her house, seeing her hated ex-husband Stan, and then slamming the door in his face.
This gif depicts Dorothy Zbornak from The Golden Girls opening the front door of her house, seeing her hated ex-husband Stan, and then slamming the door in his face.