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Edition 418 – Beyond Fatigue

It was a busy return to work after the Christmas break. Lots on and plenty to clear before our planned road trip to Tasmania in mid-March.

The diary was full. A couple of workshops were coming up – one locked in and one a possibility. Some client projects had to be wrapped up and, in amongst all of that was the usual we undertake with our clients. It was tight, but it was doable.

Then COVID hit for the second time. And try as I might, it floored me, again.
Appointments had to be cancelled. Projects had to be pushed back. The apologies started from my end – we’re not going to be able to deliver, when we said we’d deliver.
I’d made the fatal mistake of not building enough contingency in my diary, for illness, let alone for rest and contemplation. I knew that early on in the year, yet did nothing to heed the warning signs. I looked in the mirror, but didn’t notice the reflection. I heard my own voice, but wasn’t listening.
On the Sunday morning of our departure, I cleared the last of the work that I was going to be able to clear before heading off. I wrapped things up, then proceeded with the next task, which was packing. Except, at that precise moment, a huge wave of fatigue overcame me. I’d slept through the night and had been up since 5am. However, by mid morning, I diverted for a nana-nap. The shift in focus from work to holidays had allowed the fatigue to rise to the surface.
On our arrival into Tasmania on Tuesday, the beauty of it all was an indulgence to the senses. Motoring along the Bass Highway towards Burnie, from Devonport, is surely one of the most delightful drives in Australia. Then, heading inland and south, down the Murchison Highway, as we headed for Strahan on the rugged West Coast, that same wave of fatigue, from two days prior, overcame me again. A forestry road up ahead beckoned and we pulled off, reversed the car in and a power nap did a world of good.
The following day, a boat trip from Strahan, across Macquarie Harbour and then back up the Gordon River into the incredible, World Heritage listed wilderness of South Western Tasmania acted like a detox. As the catamaran glided up the river, running on electric power at this point of it’s journey, the silence was incredible, broken only by the noise of the wildlife, or the gentle lapping of the waves moving away from the boat. The grace of this part of the world is brought into focus when you look up at the Huon Pines that have been on this earth since before Christ.
Later in the day, after we’d returned from this most glorious of days trips, I wandered up to the local coffee house for a late caffeine fix. As I sat there, admiring the view across the wharf, out across the ruggedness of Macquarie Harbour, it was only then I realised that I’d been able to, finally, completely empty my head of all of what had occupying it up until that morning. I’d been beyond fatigue, whatever that state happens to be.
We all do it. We all say yes to to many, too often. We leave little margin for error. We build no contingency in our day for anything to go off the rails. And then we wonder why we fall into a heap? Or make a snap decision to throw it all away.
The question is, if we keep doing this, how long will it be before our bodies no longer respond to a trip away, or new surroundings, and instead call out, enough?

This Week’s Tip

“Look into the mirror. Listen to your voice. Take heed of the warning signs.”