No this isn't about marriage. Its about burn out. A couple of months ago, a friend forwarded me an article about burn out. I didn't even need to read the article, the title alone put into words what I've been feeling for a while now. I am completely and totally burnt out on work.
Of COURSE I'm burnt out. I've been working full tilt for so many years--by necessity, by desire, by sheer stubbornness of the "I will never give up" variety. 100+ hours a week at the absolute worst (yes I DID track my time) and 50-60 at the best (yup, tracking). And I just…don't care anymore. Well, no, I DO care, but I don't care that much. I do the things that other people are counting on me to do, but I'm struggling mightily to do the things that are sheerly for my own career advancement. Getting 40 hours of real work in a week is worthy of a gold star.
One cure to burn out is to switch things up---try a different type of work, or a different setting. But after thinking seriously about how I'd feel in a more clinical role, I don't think that's the answer. Why? The thought of that filled me with utter dread. No not fear of change, just hating the idea of seeing patients day in and out, charting, dealing with authorizations and appeals, and taking call.
Its more of an "I need a break" than an "I'm DONE". I don't want a change of job. I want a change of attitude. I want to feel engaged and driven again because I'm in the perfect position to use that drive to push forward a really rewarding career. And it IS rewarding. I love my clinical work and teaching trainees, I love the clinical projects I'm starting up, I love my focused little bench work and I really really love how I can combine all three on a daily basis. Its like part of my brain is excited and ready to dive in, but there is a stronger, more primitive side that wants to zone out for a month or so. But since I can't do that, I just hobble along, half in/half out and half-assed. I'm trying to keep things from falling apart until I can jump all in again.
I'm holding out hope that the fire will eventually start to smolder again. Is that possible? Anyone been through this and come out the other side without a major life overhaul?