Radiator Sister

Jul 22


Zoom zoom

I love dogs.

Jul 22

I was just flipping channels and landed on something called Extreme Weight Loss. This woman was given a challenge to lose 90 lbs in 90 days. She actually lost 94 lbs. WHAT THE FUCK? How can anyone think this is a good idea??

Jul 22
  • Me: I hope I didn't just give myself food poisoning with that pork chop.
  • Me: ....
  • Me: But if I get food poisoning I won't have to go to work tomorrow...
  • Update: This plan totally worked. But I'm not sure it was worth it. :/
Jul 22

10 Signs You're Burning Out -- And What To Do About It →

1. Exhaustion

A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.

2. Lack of Motivation

When you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or you no longer have that internal motivation for your work, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing burnout. Other ways this manifests? It may be harder to get going in the morning and more difficult to drag yourself into work every day.

3. Frustration, Cynicism and Other Negative Emotions

You may feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter that much anymore, or you may be disillusioned with everything. You might notice that you feel more generally pessimistic than you used to. While everybody experiences some negative emotions from time to time, it’s important to know when these are becoming unusual for you.

4. Cognitive Problems

Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate. When we’re stressed, our attention narrows to focus on the negative element that we perceive as a threat. In the short term, this helps us deal with the problem at hand, Dr. Ballard says, “but our bodies and brains are designed to handle this in short bursts and then return to normal functioning. When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.”

This “fight or flight” tunnel vision can negatively affect your ability to solve problems or make decisions. You might find that you’re more forgetful and have a harder time remembering things.

5. Slipping Job Performance

Not sure whether you’re burnt out? Compare your job performance now to your performance in previous years. Because burnout tends to happen over an extended period of time, taking this long-term view might reveal whether you’re in a temporary slump or experiencing more chronic burnout.

6. Interpersonal Problems at Home and at Work

This tends to play out in one of two ways: (a) You’re having more conflicts with other people, such as getting into arguments, or (b) you withdraw, talking to your coworkers and family members less. You might find that even when you’re physically there, you’re tuned out.

7. Not Taking Care of Yourself

When suffering from burnout, some people engage in unhealthy coping strategies like drinking too much, smoking, being too sedentary, eating too much junk food, not eating enough or not getting enough sleep. Self-medication is another issue and could include relying on sleeping pills to sleep, drinking more alcohol at the end of the day to de-stress or even drinking more coffee to summon up the energy to drag yourself into work in the morning.

8. Being Preoccupied With Work … When You’re Not at Work

Even though you might not be working at a given moment, if you’re expending mental energy mulling over your job, then your work is interfering with your ability to recover from the stresses of your day. In order to recover, you need time to yourself after the actual task stops … and time when you stop thinking about that task altogether.

9. Generally Decreased Satisfaction

This is the tendency to feel less happy and satisfied with your career and with your home life. You might feel dissatisfied or even stuck when it comes to whatever is going on at home, in the community or with your social activities, Dr. Ballard says.

10. Health Problems

Over a long period of time, serious chronic stress can create real health problems like digestive issues, heart disease, depression and obesity.

Jul 22

Reading articles about social work burnout and crying.

Maybe it’s time to do something else.

Jul 22


photos by gerry ellis from the david sheldrick wildlife trust, a nursery and orphanage for elephants in kenya’s tsavo east national park. here, fifty five keepers are charged with being around the clock parents to an elephant. the elephants, however, are the ones who chose their caretakers; it is the keepers who must ingratiate themselves to the elephants and earn their trust.

when elephants first arrive at the orphanage they are often traumatized from having witnessed the slaughter of their mothers and family by poachers. grieving can last several months, and they often lose the will to live. but as dame daphne sheldrick, founder of the orphanage, explains, a caretaker is charged with “persuading an elephant to live when it wants to die.”

approximately 35,000 elephants are killed by humans every year. with an estimated 350,000 elephants left in the whole continent of africa, they will be gone in the wild within ten years.

cbc’s the nature of things did a program on the elephants and their caretakers. you can foster an elephant with the david sheldrick wildlife trust online here. for more on the emotional lives of elephants, as well as the david sheldrick wildlife trust and other human efforts to save them, check out these posts

When I was a kid I wanted to be either a therapist or an elephant trainer. If only I had known I could be an elephant therapist!

Jul 21
  • Me: I hope I didn't just give myself food poisoning with that pork chop.
  • Me: ....
  • Me: But if I get food poisoning I won't have to go to work tomorrow...
Jul 21

At what point do I decide that working six days a week for five days’ worth of pay is unacceptable? At what point do I decide that I’m no longer willing to sacrifice my own mental health for that of my clients?

I truly love my job and it breaks my heart to think of leaving, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this. And the whole idea of self-care is a fucking joke when your employer’s only concern is wringing every last billable moment out of you. Any time I take for myself is just time that I’m getting farther behind.

Jul 20

There are no signs and there are no stars aligned
No amulets, not a charm to bring you back to my arms
There’s just this human heart
That’s built with this human flaw
What was your question? Love is the answer

Jul 20

The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can ever end.” - Benjamin Disraeli

I was thinking about this quote this morning, about how true it is. I had a multitude of people I could consider my “first love,” including the first guy I went out on a real date with and the first guy who was my boyfriend and the first guy I had sex with, but there was one particular guy in high school who I really thought was my forever soulmate. I knew he was the one for me, as surely as I knew my own name. I had not one bit of doubt. It surprises me now that I was naive enough at 17 to believe that that was how things actually worked, but I did believe it, wholeheartedly. And he felt the same way about me. That summer I went on vacation with my parents for a week and while I was gone he wrote me letters, which he gave me when I got back. I read them so many times that I still remember parts of them, particularly the part that went “That little voice inside me that says ‘Slow down! Be careful!’ has stopped. I want to be with you for the rest of my life.”

I still remember how amazing that felt, knowing — because I really thought I knew — that I had met the man who would love and cherish me for the rest of my life. Of course, it didn’t last, and the breakup was beyond devastating. But even after I was done grieving for the relationship, the resulting disillusionment and confusion had repercussions lasting far into my 20s. My inner compass was broken. I had “listened to my heart” and my heart had been breathtakingly wrong. They say that you “just know” when you meet “the one,” and I had thought that I knew, but I didn’t. How could I trust myself about anything, ever again? This contributed both to a series of craptacular relationships and years of anguish over what I should do with myself career-wise. I felt like I didn’t know how to know anything, at least not in an emotional way. My heart was not a reliable source of information about anything. Did this contribute to my marriage and subsequent divorce? Probably.

And now I find myself older, wiser, more cynical, and — improbably — in love again. My new beau and I have both been around the relationship block a few times and it’s almost funny — in a really depressing way — to watch us trying to reconcile our intense, early-relationship desire for each other with our mutual histories of pain and broken promises. The lesson that both of us have learned so far is that relationships don’t work out. Love doesn’t last.

I knew I was in love with this person one day when we were sitting in his car talking and I was looking at his face and thought to myself “I want to see this face every day for the rest of my life.” That’s what my heart says, just as naive and optimistic as ever. My mind knows better. My mind knows that while that’s a very pleasurable feeling, it’s just a feeling. It’s not some kind of cosmic truth or indicator that he is “the one.” I don’t even believe in “the one” anymore.

I don’t think I will ever again be able to promise anyone “forever.” I think the best I can do is offer the intention of forever. And maybe, in some ways, that’s better. Promising forever makes it seem like a foregone conclusion, something that you don’t really even have to pay attention to. The intention of forever is, well, intentional. It says I know I don’t have total control over the fate of this relationship, but I intend to do everything in my power to make it last and be healthy and happy. It’s committed. It acknowledges from the start that there are going to be times that are shitty. It encompasses a promise to try like hell to get through them. The intention of forever is there every day, asking you what you’re going to do to reach your long-term goal of staying together. It precludes complacency. It requires you to constantly, consciously, nurture your partner, your relationship, and yourself.

I probably should have been taking this approach to relationships all along, but better late than never. It feels good to finally be at a point in my life where it feels like my head and my heart are collaborating instead of fighting one another.