Don’t tell me you don’t adore lists.
Your silence tells me you don’t adore lists. Is it because, when you stick them on fridges, after having written them on a fancy piece of paper made specifically for lists, they grow longer and longer, trespassing the boundaries of the paper itself to continue on the smooth fridge surface? And because that makes you feel like a failure, a tired failure who cannot commit to even washing the Pisa tower of plates that has been leaning on the sink for a week?
That must be how the millennial burnout feels like.
It’s giant: everybody seems to have caught it.
It’s bad: apparently really damaging for your health.
It’s blurry: REALLY un-scientific. But hey, isn’t there more to life than evidence? (My favourite quote when I meet a scientist.)
Having said that, the moment the word ‘Burnout generation’ started appearing on our screens, we were all stuck reading and thinking ‘my oh my, that’s me!’.
Of course it’s me. At least on a Wednesday night, that’s terribly me. This is why:
As a professional, make sure you:
As a woman, make sure you:
Clean and cook properly
Master small woman-talk
Are funny but not caustic
Are intelligent but not sharp
Are clever but not sneaky
Are decisive but not assertive
Express ideas but are not opinionated
As a migrant daughter, make sure you:
Call mum and dad
Give good news only
Ask for news from the family
As a wife, make sure you:
Are a good listener
Master diplomatic dialogue
Of course I am burnt out on a Wednesday night. And if I were to try all that on any other day of the week, I would probably have died a few centuries ago.
Luckily, for the rest of the week I only address one item of that list at a time. So my bright-red fridge only has ONE item a day on it. If that item reads ‘hairdresser’, just on that day my hair is going to make me look like blooming Jessica Rabbit. If the item is ‘post office’, it means that that day my hair is going wet-dog-style, but the post office is facing my music.
Sure, it’s not going to be perfect, and guaranteed that I am going to get laser-looks from the women and men around me. (Especially the women – women can be absolute sharks to other women); but hey, I am trading that for a long, happy, healthy, relaxed life and a stable state of mind. One list item at a time.