It has been quite a couple months. After an April consisting of five to six rehearsals a week – often 3 to 4 hours a night – we are finally well into our run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Cupcake Theatre. The run is almost over, in fact (some tickets are still available for this weekend, in stubborn support of one co-worker’s disbelief at the possibility of a sell-out). This month’s schedule has, on the surface, been much more manageable; just two shows a week, and no rehearsals in between. But rather than feeling refreshed and recharged, I find myself more fatigued than ever. I feel like Jimmy Stewart at the end of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And I’m not sure why.
It’s not just a matter of general tiredness, though that has been a constant theme. Or the sickness. I’m experiencing fatigue throughout my day-to-day life. One of the casualties has been this blog. While I have been able to continue publishing a review every day, they are becoming harder and harder to get done. We’re a little over a third of the way through the year, and at times 365 Days of Reviews has been like an albatross around my neck. My reviews have become less intellectual and well-reasoned (and sensical), leaning instead toward self-indulgent screeds against vague ideas (like… “fatigue”). Perhaps that is just what my writing style demands.
But speaking of writing style, let’s talk about fatigue with my so-called dreams. I purport to be a writer, hoping one day to work in the room on a TV show. An integral piece of achieving that goal is to finese the contacts and write the specs. Well the specs are due, and the specs have not been written. I can give excuses, but ultimately they don’t matter. Where’s the motivation that ought to drive me to complete these things? It went wherever my energy went.
And boy, is energy at a premium these days. It takes everything I’ve got to get through a workday. Perhaps after three years at a south central high school, I am finally burning out. The blatant disrespect is what gets to me. It’s not just the way the students disrespect me (they do though, don’t get me wrong – I’m no Coach Carter), what really gets to me is how they have no regard even for themselves. In five years they will realize what they’ve wasted. Luckily I will be sipping Mai Tais on a beach or something.
I realize how depressing and complain-y all of this sounds. I also realize that most of these are problems that will go away once the show does end. It is on my mind most of the time, as both something to look forward to and something to distract me from other important things. And the work burnout will subside once the summer arrives – it happens every year. In the end, I really just wrote this because I had to write something. And at the very least I can take solace in that dedication and self-control, even if it doesn’t always lead to the best finished product.
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