The month of October, especially the past couple weeks, has been a very full month. It was full of good things. But it was also very busy. During this time of being so busy, I also caught a cold that decided to hang on for about a month. Which meant as I was enjoying all the glorious busyness, I was also battling a lot of fatigue.
There were some days, that despite how excited I was for these good things, that I got up in the morning and was immediately wishing I could go back to bed.
While physical fatigue contributed to it, it wasn’t the main culprit. I was getting plenty of sleep and everything seemed to be on track.
I was just weary.
I felt guilty for feeling weary. I had all these good things, things that I loved, things that I enjoyed, things that I counted the days to. I enjoyed the experiences as they were happening. But once they were over, I was relieved to go to bed early and call it a day. How could I have all these good things and still be weary? It seemed ungrateful somehow.
This weariness began to wreak havoc with my creativity. Worse yet, I was in the perilous brainstorming stages of a story, where I’d write several chapters, realize I hated it, throw it out and start over, only to repeat the process. It felt like I was getting nowhere.
And towards the end of the month, when a lot of the good things had quieted down and life settled back into some semblance of normalcy, worries and anxieties that had been quietly standing on the sidelines snuck back in.
It left me all feeling weary and stuck. I was writing but not quite connecting with what I wrote, not finding joy in the process as I usually did.
I’d love to say I stumbled across some magic formula that will instantly erase all our weariness. Whether you write, create in another way, or are just living your life, weariness sneaks up on us all. And the tricky thing about it is that often weariness like this isn’t because of a situation. We often think “once such-and-such is over, then I won’t be so tired” or “if I didn’t have xyz to deal with, I wouldn’t be so weary.” In fact, weariness is all too happy to latch itself to another situation as needed.
I don’t have a magic formula. But I do have a few things that occurred to me throughout my little bout of weariness.
Remember God has done more than you ever thought He could.
In my post two months ago, I told you how I used to be very socially anxious and isolated. One busy weekend this month, I dogsat for two days, attended church on Sunday, went to my sister’s horse show, and then followed it up by going to my young adult small group.
My momma pointed out that this is something I never would have done when I was younger. In fact, the thought of staying away from home at all, much less having all these good things crammed in one weekend, would have made old me go back to bed and hide under the pillows.
Weariness will make you feel that you’re not making any progress and you’re stuck in the same place you’ve always been. That’s when it’s time to look back and realize it’s simply not true. Find the things you’ve done that you never dreamed you could do, and remember Who made them possible.
Okay, this is the tip I love to hate. When I’m feeling weary, I don’t want to keep going. I just want a break. And sometimes I do need a break! (I tend to be way too hard on myself.) But if I completely stopped every time I was feeling tired, I’d never keep moving.
It’s hard when you’re not finding any joy in what you’re doing. Just keep looking. Keep going. Just do what you can right now, a little bit at a time. In my case, I tried to keep writing, even if it was extremely rough chapters. They’re still written, and I can go somewhere from there.
Remember weariness can inspire creativity.
I think we have assigned negative traits to any emotion other than happiness. Sadness, anger, and fear make us feel things we don’t like, and in some cases do things we don’t like. So we assign negative traits to them.
But feeling sad isn’t wrong, just like feeling angry or afraid isn’t. It’s what we do from there that makes it positive or negative.
So whether or not I’m feeling happy or upbeat doesn’t determine whether I’m being creative. Creativity requires all the emotions. Especially something like telling a story.
I would often be sitting during my writing time, nearly nodding off to sleep, and mentally scolding myself. “This is your writing time! The only private time you’ll have to write all day. You should be enjoying this! You should be doing a better job.”
But my weariness was as much a factor in my creativity as my positivity. In weary times, I don’t filter my words as much. Just don’t have the brainpower to. So sometimes that results in really rough sentences. And sometimes that results in really great ideas making it to the page that I otherwise would have talked myself out of.
Weariness is also a universal experience. And experience, poured into words, is what draws a reader in.
Take time to play.
While I’ve told you to keep going, also recognize when you just need a break. Yes, I still worked to do my writing during my writing time. But there were other times with my free time that I realized I just needed to sit and read for a bit. Or watch a movie I enjoyed. Or go to bed early.
At one point this month, we visited some friends, and while we were there, we walked to a playground we used to go to when we were younger. I decided before we got there that I was just going to play. I wasn’t going to try to be an adult for a little while.
So I crawled all over the equipment. I swung, and went down the slides, and walked the wooden edge of the playground like a balance beam. We played hide and seek. Watched the sun go down over the lake. I laid on my back and watched the sky.
Times when I was dogsitting, where I essentially had a whole house to myself, I would put on music I was loving at that moment, even if it was out of my usual norm. Or I’d turn on a movie that I really loved. It didn’t matter if it was something I’d watched a million times before when there’s probably dozens of other movies I haven’t seen I could have chosen from. It didn’t matter if it was a kids film that would seem “silly” for me to be watching as an adult.
I just did something that I really wanted to do without having to defend or explain it for once.
Do something you did as a kid. Go play on a playground. Get out toys you haven’t seen in years. Read a book or watch a movie you loved as a kid.
Play. And don’t feel the need to defend or explain yourself for it.
The thing about weariness is that it will always pass. I love to hate that sentence too. Because some bouts of weariness are long. Some stretch out before us indefinitely. It makes weariness a scary thing. But it will be over someday.
In the case of mine, that nasty cold has cleared up and as we head into November (when I’m drafting this), I’m feeling a lot more rested and creative and ready for the good things of this month.
But that doesn’t mean that time of weariness was worthless.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!