I think there’s a lot to be said for trying to reach beyond yourself and challenge yourself to do something better. The call to do more, to do better, to improve something is strong and it touches the deepest parts of ourselves.
Conversely, I think there’s something else to be said for having the wisdom and foresight to pack it in when it’s obvious the challenge is above your measure. Recognizing when you are burned out or are headed toward imminent failure where it is otherwise avoidable is among the largest set of challenges we can face.
You’ll never be able to start when conditions are perfect. You’ll never be able to get anything done if defining your success as flawless, faultless, or peerless is foremost on your mind. On the flip-side, failing to recognize that without support and resources on your side you’re much more likely to fail is tantamount to suffocating your effort before it even gets underway.
I think I’m in the latter of these two scenarios. I want to start, but I’m so mentally and physically exhausted that even trying to learn what is necessary to start feels hopeless. The last thing I want to do is look at any kind of digital device when I’m done working, much less try and learn something new. There are so many things that are arrayed against me and I have such a lack of direction that even beginning to understand what I would try and improve feels fruitless.
Maybe it’s just the stress of being in a position where my entire waking time is spent in crisis-mode. It’s hard to deal with because it triggers me so hard and pushes me back into way I used to live years ago. I don’t want to be there anymore.
I want the mental wherewithal to be able to sit down and try and contribute back. I want to be able to help fix things. I want to be able to say “yeah, I committed upstream and helped fix a known bug that’s been open for a while”. I just lack the skill and the mental fortitude to really engage it.