I have come to think that burn out has different stages and scenery. It’s like watching a prairie fire over time–eventually, it burns itself out. You’re left in a quiet, peaceful, albeit grey area of ashes and soot. This is the layer that brings back life, if you let it.
“Hello. Is this is the ER check-in desk?”
The attendant looks up; I expect her to say something like “No, this is the Clown and Circus Motorcycle Club. You want down the hall and to the left, pass the screaming banshee who met with an unfortunate accident, but before the cafeteria and gift shop.”
I get a nod instead. I take a breath and plunge into the story, perhaps for the fifth time that day.