I’m toast out and I haven’t even talked about it yet.
Becky, our three offspring and I are headed to the airport in the morning – catching a flight to Texas where the kids will be
spoiled nurtured by my parents for a week. Becky and I will kiss their foreheads, wave good-bye from the curb, wait until they’re out of sight, do a happy dance (something spectacular with lots of finger pointing and pelvic swiveling), and drive ourselves to Austin.
I’m teaching at the National Worship Leader Conference twice and we’re spending the rest of the time eating Tex Mex, seeing movies, savoring silence and celebrating 10 years of marriage. (By the way, I love that my wife loves vacations paid for by work. Thrift as a turn-on. She’s perfect.)
Worship Leader has asked me to talk about burn-out – basically the questions I try to answer help us stay fit relationally, physically and spiritually. I call the talk “Toast” and the last time I did it I was amazed at the number of pastors and volunteers that are fried to the point of depression, addiction, divorce and medication. I’m hoping just telling my own story of failing to take care of myself helps those who show up.
Truth is though, I don’t feel all that fit tonight either. I feel exhausted. It’s all Becky’s fault.
Becky and I are very different travelers. I travel often and I have the process down. I have three jeans and seven t-shirts. I put them in my suitcase with a small stack of underwear and socks. I’ll pack my shoes by wearing them. My backpack stays packed at all times. I plug in my phone and my laptop the night before I leave, slip them both in my backpack on the way out the door in the morning and I’m packed. Easy.
Becky and the kids, however, rarely travel. She’s very efficient but not as practiced as me, so, she’s a bit slower: She’s been packing for two days. And Becky likes – really really likes – to come home to a clean house. Tonight, the cleaning began. I did the bathrooms and mopped floors. She did a zillion loads of laundry, dishes, windows, vacuuming, dusting, organizing… There was a tiny amount of friction – mostly me saying stupid things like “I’d love to travel with you and the kids everywhere I go but I don’t think I could clean this thoroughly before every gig. I’d be wiped before I even left the house.” This, apparently, is a bad thing to say, even half joking, to a woman doing a zillion loads of laundry, dishes, windows, vacuuming, dusting, organizing… Oops.
But maybe this week will make up for my
jokes insensitivity. Once the stress of getting ready and getting there passes, the plan is to do a lot of nothing…with each other…and eat gallons of queso. No better way to avoid becoming toast.