I love reading about roller derby! I mean, I generally love reading words that are arranged in such a fashion that they describe an interest of mine. I’m just a wacky, zany lady like that! But after awhile, I start to read the same article over and over again: BURNOUT, AMIRITE? I would like to contribute my own arrangement of words on the hot subject to the internet bin of disposable miscellany. I like to remain hip with the culture and right now the culture is buzzing out being burnt out.
What does being burnt out even mean? Burnout is when you say cliche things like, “Stop the world! I am getting off! And by getting off I mean, like, stepping off a plane or train and not… you know.” You’ve had it up to here like Gwen Stefani in “Just a Girl.” It’s having a Case of the Mondays on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday but not Sunday because that’s when you are spending time angrily staring at the Mt. Everest of laundry in your bedroom. Burnout is when you need your life to take a chill pill, but you decide to drink a case of Red Bull, sally forth, and totally regret it. You feel like a sad, booger-filled disposable tissue that is lying on the floor next to the trash can. Do you love roller skating as much as you love baby animals? You don’t? Ugh, you are so burnt out.
So then the typical internet article about burnout goes like this: “What do we do about you, you useless pile of ashes? Can we throw some wood on you and get the fire going again?” No, that last question is not an innuendo but a metaphor. I don’t even know how you live with your mind in the gutter all the time! Moving on! The internet tells me these are the solutions to burnout:
1. Take some time off!
2. Take a break! Gimme a break! Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!
3. Have you tried eating a pint of ice cream?
4. Do you have friends outside of derby? See them! You don’t? Why don’t you make friends? Are you a dinosaur? You are?! No wonder why you don’t have friends outside derby!
5. Cast away your responsibilities like a nudist casts off pants in the warm, warm sunlight!
6. Evaluate how many fucks and shits you can stand to give and ration them accordingly. Do not give an entire shit when only a turd will suffice.
7. Listen to some Enya. Oh… you saw the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Never mind, try Explosions in the Sky.
How awesome was that advice? It was all so novel and genius and groundbreaking! I know, I basically just served you last week’s meat surprise lunch and spiced it up with a little srichacha sauce. It’s still terrible except now it might give you heartburn. Nothing is solved! You want to know: “How can I burn out, but not fade away?”
I think in order to do that you need to evaluate the state and extent of your burnout. Are you a little pile of smoldering embers? Maybe abstaining from a few practices and events might be enough to sustain. Maybe you need to not check your e-mail every 5 minutes. You know what? Just put your phone in a drawer and don’t bother with it until you get the burning desire to let everyone on Facebook know that you are now the mayor of your laundromat. Think of derby as that friend who you KNOW is a good person, they are just super annoying right now. Keep it all at arm’s length and let things just happen without engaging.
If you are a sad lumpy pile of gray ashes in danger of being scattered by a light breeze, I don’t know if you can remain burnt out without fading off into the sunset for awhile. You should probably go get some more wood, if you know what I mean.
So you’ve read all of those words and you are still feeling hopeless about the state of your fire? Part of me wants to shake you and say, “Well, what did you expect? I am no certified expert! I’m juggling all kinds of balls right now which is terrible because a) I hate balls and b) I can’t keep them in the air for the life of me!” What balls? “The balls of life! They are a-rollin’!” If you’re still looking for Better Burnout Solutions, I am sad to report that the truest and best advice is the most boring: You know yourself better than anyone and what you can/can’t handle. Your gut will probably tell you exactly what you need to do, you just need to come to terms with it. And get wood.