Adulting Burnout

“The modern Millennial, for the most part, views adulthood as a series of actions, as opposed to a state of being,” an article in Elite Daily explains. “Adulting therefore becomes a verb.” “To adult” is to complete your to-do list — but everything goes on the list, and the list never ends.  

That’s one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed. The end result is that everything, from wedding celebrations to registering to vote, becomes tinged with resentment and anxiety and avoidance.  

To describe millennial burnout accurately is to acknowledge the multiplicity of our lived reality — that we’re not just high school graduates, or parents, or knowledge workers, but all of the above — while recognizing our status quo. We’re deeply in debt, working more hours and more jobs for less pay and less security, struggling to achieve the same standards of living as our parents, operating in psychological and physical precariousness, all while being told that if we just work harder, meritocracy will prevail, and we’ll begin thriving. The carrot dangling in front of us is the dream that the to-do list will end, or at least become far more manageable.

Anne Helen Petersen writing in BuzzFeed News

When resting means death

Two climbers died in a weekend snowstorm on Mount Rainier a few years ago. The men carried warm clothes, sleeping bags, tents and other items with them. They had everything they needed to save their lives. But instead of using what they had brought with them to survive, they first sat down to rest.. and died of exposure.

The climb can be tough. In those desperate moments when exhaustion overwhelms us, we have to choose to go beyond what we think we can do. Otherwise, no amount of preparation can save us.

Stephen Goforth

The Pit

You have become acquainted with disappointments, broken dreams, and disillusionment. Crisis seems to be your closest companion. Like a ten-pound sledge, your heartache has been pounding you dangerously near desperation. Unless I miss my guess, negativism and cynicism have crept in. You see little hope around the corner. As one wag put it, "The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train." You are nodding in agreement, but probably not smiling. Life has become terribly unfunny.

Tired, stumbling, beaten, discouraged friend, taken heart! The Lord God can and will lift you up. No pit is so deep that he is not deeper still. No valley so dark that the light of His truth cannot penetrate.

Charles Swindoll, Encourage Me