Confusing Exhaustion

I keep wondering the same thing. I sat through an endless meeting the other day where people kept sharing how exhausted they are. We are in the same job. I feel fresh like a spring flower. What is it that’s exhausting them so badly?

They say “COVID,” but COVID means we do a lot less work. Nobody has to be at the office. Student evaluations of teachings were cancelled. All research expectations were removed. The university is paying for people to take 100% paid breaks from teaching to rest. (I’m not requesting one because if I rest any more than I already do, I’ll be a vegetable.)

Among the people at that meeting, I’m the only mother of a small child and the only person who has an intense research agenda.

So why are they so exhausted? Is it some sort of a class marker, like the ladies with their smelling salts? And is my lack of performative exhaustion betraying my peasant roots?

7 thoughts on “Confusing Exhaustion

  1. ” is my lack of performative exhaustion betraying my peasant roots?”

    Two points, the first is that the current exhaustion epidemic is related to SJWism, whine about ’emotional labor’ and ‘exhaustion’ to escape from having to defend weird bullshit ideas.

    The second is the well-known slacker tactic of claiming tiredness to escape from work. the ideal situation is two jobs so that you can use each as an excuse for doing a half-assed job on the other (I may have…. made use of this myself on an occasion or seven….)

    Beyond that… I dunno….

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  2. FWIW, I feel exhausted myself. I have done quite well for most the pandemic, and have been quite upbeat (for my kids, for my students) and quite productive, but over the past few weeks I’ve been lethargic unmotivated. I think it’s the end of the school year, plus just the cumulative effect of chronic stress over the pandemic and trying to shield the people I am in charge of, plus honestly probably some avitaminosis.

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  3. There are probably as many reasons for exhaustion as the day is long but… I will say, I was always exhausted before I started to live a healthy lifestyle. A diet high in processed food and carbohydrates made me feel perpetually lethargic. I was always collapsing into chairs (sometimes breaking them!) and exclaiming, “I’m exhausted” to get out of extra work at work. I really was tired–but it had more to do with my insulin response (High sugar intake + overproduction of insulin = crash!)

    Today I really am exhausted. But that’s because I only slept 6 hours, ran 6 miles before work and then spent 9 hours in a zoom workshop. I was toast by 4pm. Of course I still went to the store, bought food and prepared dinner for my family.

    PS: I’m glad I’m no longer a vegetable. I wasted a lot of years like your co-workers. And that’s no life at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Two points, the first is that the current exhaustion epidemic is related to SJWism, whine about ’emotional labor’ and ‘exhaustion’ to escape from having to defend weird bullshit ideas.

    This nails it. At least in my experience, preemptively declaring how “exhausted” you are is related to “It’s not my job to educate you”.

    “I’m exhausted” = “Look, I’m a victim too!” but, you know, without being too gauche.

    This too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such exhaustion likely stems from a combination of boredom and overuse of social media. Nothing driving you is exhausting (my theory: a body in motion feels energetic and alive, a body sitting around in boredom quickly tires into dull listlessness), and the mental vacuousness of social media scrolling exhausts the brain for lack of good stimulation. These same people likely can’t sit still long enough to read a decent book or do enough research to write cognizant thoughts. I’d be surprised if they are capable of having cognizant thoughts.

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