I used to hate that I'd jump from creative explosion to near-dormant existence (one might argue that I'm currently in the latter stage). Still, the "pendulum swing", as some may call it, was alive and visibly well.
Then one day, it all stopped. I burnt out. I couldn't quite put my finger on why, but I basically cancelled everything (including my newsletter I had spent years trying to build).
I was tired of the endless back-and-forth.
A New Kind of Swing
The beautiful thing about pendulums is that they just keep going. The momentum of one leads to the momentum of the other — and endless circle of give and take, rest and effort, rinse and repeat.
Recently, my wife and I took our 3 very restless boys (6 and under) to the woods. It was my wife's birthday as well, so the 4-day trip was wonderfully celebratory in nature. But more than that, it was unplugged.
There was no cell-service, and we drove up a Forest Service road that had no camping facilities whatsoever. We packed in everything, and packed everything out.
The Right Pendulum
The one thing I realized on this trip was that I had the wrong swing for many years. I tried so hard to be creative and build something beautiful — the hustle usually lasting for several months — before I crashed and took a break zoning out on XBOX and Netflix. My swing was that of production/consumption, and while it certainly was a swing, it wasn't rejuvenating.
The beauty of "roughing" it in the wild is that it's the exact opposite of my modern and technologically-fat normal day life. It's the other end of my pendulum swing.
The more I stay in my normal life of digital interaction, the more I yearn for the other end of my pendulum; and the longer I spend in the rough and wild side of life, the more I yearn for the modern conveniences that I take for granted.
The pendulum swing is balanced.
Find Your Swing
Naturally, not everyone loves the outdoors, nor is their normal life so heavily influenced by digital devices as mine.
The point of this post is to encourage you to find that pendulum swing that can become an endless cycle, where burnout is tamed through balance.
Whatever it is, I'm sure you'll find it. Just keep looking.
p.s. We roughed it about as much as you can in a camper, but I was really impressed that we got it up a treacherous canyon dirt road. My three boys had a total blast, as did Tanya and I.