In Way to Die #108, an abusive guy plans a nasty surprise for his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. He’s outside a restaurant in his car, lying in wait for them with his paintball gun, ready for revenge.
But like most of the geniuses on this show, dude has done something stupid. He’s parked his car up against a pile of trash with his motor running. His car’s exhaust pipe gets clogged, exhaust backs up into his car, he starts feeling sleepy, badda boom badda bing, he’s starring in an episode of “1000 Ways to Die”.
The show has a dark sense of humor. At the end of each vignette they come up with a snarky title and slap a Way To Die # on it. The titles are usually sarcastic, bad puns, read in a mocking voice over. This one, Way To Die #108, is called, “ExhaustDead”.
I saw this over the weekend and had a good laugh. But today, just a few days into the work week, I find myself feeling “ExhaustDead”. On the phone with my friend Ed, I describe myself as “bone weary”, and “spent”. I can’t even sit upright to enjoy the Warriors bludgeon the hapless Rockets. I must watch this thrashing from my bed.
How have I gotten to this place? Is the universe working against me?Have I contracted another medical condition? Do I actually have Mediterranean Sleeping Sickness as Cosmic Justice for that time I lied and said it was the reason I showed up late for work?
Hopefully not. More than likely it’s psychological. A deep-seated fear steeped in childhood trauma. A compulsive case of Not Knowing When to Say ‘When’. A chronic, persistent, inability to say ‘NO!’
If I could use what most people call Common Sense, I would say ‘No’ to all the additional work I’ve been doing for others. I’d conserve my energy, get more sleep, and learn to just say to people, “sorry, I won’t be able to do that for you.” Then go to bed and stay there.
For several days.
But I’m not the only one struggling with this. Manic Impressives often don’t know when to stop. We burn the candle at both ends, then try to light it in the middle. We’re driven to help and impress others. We’re impulsive and spontaneous and easily distracted. We’re ferocious in our need to not miss out.
Over time this does not lead us where we want to go. It leads to unfinished projects, promises unkept, self disappointment and even despair. We who burn so brightly must learn to pace ourselves, or we will surely burn ourselves out.
So if you’re feeling worn down, bone weary or spent, please, for all that is Holy, stop what you’re doing. Stop innovating, brainstorming, and offering help and energy to anyone who asks. Just say ‘No’ to everyone and climb into bed. Before you too end up, ExhaustDead…