The Exhaustion Amplification (AKA Lack of Gratitude)

I’m tired.
So darn tired..!

I’ve been eating my veggies, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and working out consistently, not overburdening myself with an excruciating number of social after-work activities and I still just want to go home and sleep for 48 uninterrupted hours.

(Before any of my relatives and/or close friends jump to the conclusion that veganism must be to blame, hold your horses! I had some blood work done and I’m as healthy as I could possibly be. Ha!)

So if there’s nothing physically wrong with me, it must all be in my head which, to be accurate, is a part of my physical existence. I always find it funny when people say “it’s all in your head!”.
Why yes it is. So what? Does that make it any less real?
I don’t think so!

At times, I get very frustrated with work, as I’m sure a lot of people do. If Marie Kondo (I never watched a single episode of the Netflix series, by the way − should I?) were to ask me whether my job sparks joy, I’m quite sure what my answer would be and I’m also quite sure that there’s no need for me to spell it out for you.

When your only goal is to make it to bedtime in one piece upon waking up in the morning, I can assure you that your day’s going to be hard.

Imagine waking up tired after a good night’s sleep, feeling as if somebody had ripped you right out of your dreams in the middle of the night. Except it’s not the middle of the night, but the start of a beautifully sunny day. After snoozing for a solid half hour, you finally peel yourself out of your bed sheets and drag yourself to the bathroom to make yourself look at least half-presentable (because apparently, The Walking Dead is not an acceptable dress code for work).
While having breakfast and commuting to work, you keep humming the same sentence to yourself over and over: I don’t wanna go to work I don’t wanna go to work I don’t wanna go to work…
Once you actually arrive at work, you hate everyone and everything and most of all, yourself. The entire (working) day was basically doomed before it even started.

Does this sound familiar to you?
I know that some of you will want to tell me to change jobs, to do something that I actually like doing.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day of your life.”

Ugh, so cheesy.
Probably very true, but can this even apply to all of us, all the time? After all, the primary reason why we have jobs is to pay for the roof over our head, the food in our fridge and the fun stuff we want to do when we’re not stuck at work.
Could part of our unhappiness with our working situation have to do with unrealistic expectations towards it?
If we dismiss every chance of work-related joy at its core because what we do on a daily basis isn’t even remotely what we would like it to be (in a perfect world), aren’t we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

I’m not saying don’t pursue your dream. By all means, do so! Quit your job, move to another country, do whatever you need to do in order to be at peace with yourself.
I’m just saying that radical measures aren’t for everyone, either because they’re not possible for some reason (could be a financial one) or because they’re too overwhelming at that point in life.
Not everyone’s ready for major life changes.

I know I’m not.
I simply feel like there’s too much going on in my life right now for me to completely turn it upside down. There’s bills to pay and pets to take care of (which also involves a lot of money-spending) and I looooove food, so a big part of my paycheck goes into buying all kinds of food.

What I take from these reflections is that I should probably work on managing my expectations towards my current working situation in order to change my mindset. Focusing on the positive aspects (come to think of it, there are probably a lot of those..!) and considering work as a necessary means to pay for the stuff that matters to me may end up making it more bearable and potentially even enjoyable.
Once again, like for so many other (potentially frustrating) aspects of life, it all comes down to gratitude.

A while ago, I forced myself to write down, at the end of each day, three things I had been grateful for throughout the day. Interestingly, this is really hard at first and I had to rack my brain in order to come up with even just one tiny thing. After a while, it gets easier because you start noticing things such that you may even come up with more than three things to be grateful for at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, I stopped writing things down after a while (you know, laziness and all that), but given that I just bothered to write a blog post about it, chances are that I’ll pick up where I left off.
If you want to read a little more about practicing gratitude, I recommend this blog post by a very good friend of mine.

To sum up, it’s probably crucial not to compare your own life to all the amazingness you think other people’s lives are made of (and which they broadcast on social media for everyone to see) and, most importantly, not to beat yourself up because your life isn’t as unicorn-y and rainbow-y (yet?) as you think it should be. Be realistic about your expectations and accept that nothing is awesome all the time. Hardships* are a necessary part of life. We probably wouldn’t even appreciate all the awesomeness that our lives have to offer if it weren’t for the occasional hard times.

So pick up a pen (or don’t, if you can manage without writing things down) and start being more grateful!

* Please keep in mind that hardships are a subjective experience − what’s not hard for you may be really difficult for someone else. Don’t judge other people’s emotions based on your own experiences.

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