It only took five weeks, but as I sat down, said the quiet parts out loud, I confessed both to myself and out in the open:
I can’t keep things up like this.
The YouTube channel has been a thrill, I’ve enjoyed keeping up here with writing, and there have been plenty of things both at work and at home to stay ahead of, do, and enjoy. But just not all at once at this rate.
I can’t narrate The Life Autistic if I’m no longer LIVING.
Burnout is hard, but it’s especially hard when it’s fueled and propelled by autistic obsessions and fixations.
I’m going into each weekend gripped by the need to film, to edit, splice, and prep for publish weekly. And if it’s not that, it’s gearing up blogs on the cadence I’ve maintained for years. This has become its own special interest, and if you’re autistic, you know it is hard to undo!
But things have changed: work has seasons, I’ve had more kids since this whole outlet began, I’m helping stay flexible to let Mrs. H2 stay engaged in teaching – the list goes on.
So does time: it goes on and has not changed, nor broadened, nor expanded.
I’ve been to the burnout wall before, so I know it’s coming. Here’s what will be changing, for my own sanity:
Writing is slowing down. I do enjoy practicing my one key skill, but I am making my own pressure by committing to a 2x weekly pace. And I can’t keep that up. I’ll be here on Mondays, but I’m afraid the Thursday kicker will need to step aside.
Videos on Wednesdays. But maybe not every Wednesday. Some of these come together extremely quick, but not always. YouTube isn’t my day job. My day job is already pretty intense. I have kids, plural. I have to face the fact that, given everything else, I’m just not capable of cranking things out as fast as I could.
Balance. This may surprise some or none of you, but every minute of my day is pretty much compulsively driven to some objective — I’ve not “been lazy” in years, and the doing is always intense, and focused, and purposeful — and exhausting.
So while I realize, yeah, my audience is probably going to dry up because I can’t be as ridiculous a force, at least I’ll still have a Life Autistic to live, to enjoy, one that can’t afford to dry up.
I hope you’ll stick around, even if the updates aren’t as feverishly constant. But I need to slow down to keep going. To learn more about autism from an autistic person’s perspective, follow & subscribe to The Life Autistic here and on YouTube — or follow the more whimsical, spontaneous, and amusing content on Twitter / Instagram. Thanks.
Maybe one day I’ll get around to a video on burnout. For now, here’s some other autistic things I wish I’d known sooner.