This spring, I finally planted a garden for the first time in years, pretending I had the time for another project. Into the soil went lettuce, varieties of squash, and tomatoes. A humble beginning, but it was the effort that counted.

Things started off decent. The green vines soon produced blooms with the promise of a good harvest. Then the wonderful Texas summer landed before the season officially began. I tried to keep up the watering, but to no avail. I dreaded looking out the back door as the leaves drooped and turned brown. Even I know when it’s time to call it quits, though I seldom do it. But there was no cost effective way to save the tiny garden spread. So I let it go. It was burned.

Sometimes I reach that point with projects. Recently, I had to let something go before it contributed to a mental burnout. I cut my monthly contribution to the Jewels of Encouragement blog. I loved the fellowship and fun, but I couldn’t hang on to everything or I’d face sinking to the bottom. I have to learn how to say “no” more often. Not an easy thing for me, since my brain tells me I can do anything, all at the same time. But it just doesn’t work out that way.

There are times when I can feel a burnout coming with a particular project. This blog, for instance. I had to let it alone for a while before the stress took me down.

Once it reaches the burnout point, there’s no saving a project until the next season rolls around. If it ever does.

I have to step back to fully comprehend what in the world I do with each of my days. Sometimes things aren’t nearly as overwhelming as I’d thought. More often though, they are even more so. But I just prioritize, pray and move forward.

And I’m already planning a fall garden. For some reason, I can’t let myself quit.


For Him,

Sarah Elisabeth

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer is an award-winning inspirational author, speaker and Choctaw storyteller of traditional and fictional tales based on the lives of her people. Get a free e-copy of her first book, "Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears": Free e-book

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5 comments on “Burnout
  1. Cindy says:

    Sarah- What a great insight! How I can relate to you. What a wonderful lesson you are learning- I’m 52 and I still struggle with “balancing” rest and productivity. Saying no is difficult but I try to remember it means I’m saying YES to something else I need more.

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      “it means I’m saying YES to something else I need more.” Excellent point Cindy!

  2. Josh McBride says:

    A perfect example of burnout: I had been working from early morning till late evening and I had planned my busiest day for August 1st. So it didn’t help any when I got a pounding headache and fever… On August 1st. I made myself sleep all day, go to bed early. Now I’m feeling well enough to start pushing it again.

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      Glad you’re feeling better Josh! When we don’t pay attention to the needs of our body and brain, they’ll demand it.

      Get some rest before your trip!

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