Running out of steam

Crash and burn cycles have been a big part of my life.

For many years, I can just potter along, marking time. And then something will grab me and get my interest. And I will run with it. Run really hard with it. And give it my all. And I will make progress and accomplish things. But sooner or later I run out of steam. And I feel my latest cycle running out steam.

A couple of years ago I was given a substantial raise I did not ask for. I was appreciative — but worried at the same time. Unsolicited raises have a way of being a harbinger of bad things to come. Perhaps I feel the need to up my game and perform better to live up to the higher salary (not every considering that I was probably already doing so else they would not have given me the raise in the first place.) But it might be just timing — the raise coming along just as I am peaking in a cycle and about to start running out of steam.

I am still doing well in my job. But I feel I have reached the maximum of what I am capable of — and further effort on my part is now yielding ever diminishing returns. And there is nothing wrong with that. But in a career-fixated culture we are expected to keep growing and progressing and accomplishing every more things.

Now that I know I am autistic, I can see autistic burnout in my crash and burn cycles. And once I crash at something, I can never salvage anything. I always have to start over with something else — and then wait for the next thing to throw myself into.

Perhaps I can avoid crashing this time. Perhaps I can keep control of the plane and find a safe place to land — touching down just right at the very end of the runway. And then get out of the plane and walk away in search of my next adventure.

One thought on “Running out of steam

  1. I think the careers-focused Western culture is not good for autistics. We tend to want to find something we’re good at and stick with it, rather than focus on climbing the corporate ladder.

    Liked by 1 person

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