Engagement Fatigue

Me: “Something’s wrong with me.”

You: “What’s wrong with you?”

Me: “I guess it’s just all the tags, webinars, leadership articles, new world this and that, zoom groups, invitations to listen to podcasts.”

You: “Okay then take some time for yourself and practice self-care.”

( “You” refers to my circle, my pals, the folks I can actually pick up the phone and call.  Thank you.)

So I was riding my Fellaton this morning.  Yep, it’s a Fellaton.  You’ve heard of a Peloton; well I call my road bike that now sits on top of my “JetFluid Pro Bike Trainer” a Fellaton.  It’s not fancy, has no technology, and no monitor for me to watch some flat-abbed indoor-cycling instructor that could have been me had I been born a decade or so later saying shit like, “Work those glutes! Do you want jelly or do you want jam?!?  Nope, I taught old school spin for 19- years before group fitness instructors became the Rock Stars of the Lululemon Limelight.  Anyway, I’m not training for anything and certainly would not use the words “jet, jelly or jam” with anything I am physically doing on my Fellaton or anywhere else for that matter unless it applies to the speed with which I move to the guest room when I am awakened by my partner’s snoring, “feeling like jelly, I  jet to the guest room so I can get my sleep jam back on.”  I am, however; inclined to use the word “jet’ in conjunction with the velocity of my creative ideas and euphonies that dance through my mind most of the time including while riding on my Fellaton.

Over the past month or so, when I am not excusing myself from a Zoom breakout room as soon as I feel a rise in cortisol after someone goes off-topic down the rabbit hole of great unknown to speculate how much longer the quarantine will last and any other COVID-19 information that I would prefer to receive from my preferred news source during my designated news consumption time, I’ve spent a lot of my days in the space of creativity and my creative jam tends to be of a humorous nature.  I think funny thoughts, write quirky stories, and create whimsical and amusing collage art.

Essentially, I live in Shelleyland.  Shelleyland is fun a place.  And, no, I don’t typically refer to myself in the third person, it just seems to be the right description for the place I live. It’s like a playroom. Living in Shelleyland involves quite a bit of enjoyment.

I really love and embrace the myriad of thoughts like tiny molecules attaching together to form the idea, like an object, energy, stars… Oh, I don’t know…It’s like the thought becomes a visceral sensation that I just need to bring to life. I love to pour through my vintage magazine collection looking for a muse and I find the process of both cutting and writing to be very cathartic and mindful. The taking shape part, whether it be story or collage is when the endorphins really start flying!  What puts this entire endeavor over the top is knowing that if I can sense into the joy, somebody else will as well.

You, “Then what do you do with your stuff?”

Me, “Well, I put it out there.”

You, “Well that’s great!  Isn’t it?”

Okay, so now here’s where I get to the part of what’s wrong with me and in saying this, I’m not sure I have the answer but I may just figure it out while writing this story.  I had one diagnosis come to mind on the Fellaton this morning and I think is accurate.

Perhaps it’s kind of like middle-age sex.  After sex, I’m like, “Okay, thanks. I’m good. See ya in a week or two.”  Later in my morning meditation, another thought came to mind, maybe I’m like a bird who flies so high I have to go back in my nest to rest for a bit.  The point is I have diagnosed myself with “Engagement Fatigue” and I believe, breakout room cortisol aside, it comes from the endorphins that go bananas during the creative process that are just too overstimulating to sustain.  Once I “put it out there” the energy flows back to a level of homeostasis.  I don’t typically give myself a break from that high energy to remain in homeostasis when I put the pressure on myself to respond as soon as possible because when I do respond, I am brought back to that high energy level perhaps too quickly.  It’s kind of like I share my quirky, funny stuff, it causes people to release endorphins and that is so beautiful but I don’t want to have sex again.

I think in order to bring this full circle, I will continue the metaphor from the previous paragraph and now as I type, I like you are wondering, will it be the star, the bird, or middle age sex?  Here it goes, I am a middle-age bird star who has just had sex, I suffer from engagement fatigue so if you like this story, okay, thanks. I’m good. See ya in a week or two.

Well, maybe later.  I love you


Shelley Brown
Shelley Brown
I’m Shelley Brown, A "Type A" Meditator. I spent 25 years in corporate sales, climbing the ladder and making great money, all while stress slowly consumed me. Then, after a particularly difficult time, I decided it was enough. So I learned how to address my stress. Then, I became better at my job AND my life. Today I teach sales leaders and their teams how to mitigate stress so they can be human beings at work and win more deals. And, BONUS! I help teams cultivate a sales culture that drives continual success. I’m not your typical corporate mindfulness trainer. In fact, I’m probably a lot like you.

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  1. Oh, Shelley… this is so you and something I think most of us can absolutely relate to. I had to take some time away last week, too, to combat “engagement fatigue,” too. A few weeks ago, I would have felt guilty about it. But, a very wise person (aka YOU) reminded me that self care is not selfish. It is essential. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here and reminding us all to step away when we need to and laugh – even when we don’t feel like it. Laughter is so good for the soul.

    • No guilt allowed in Shelleyland. We check upon entry! So encouraged to hear you are taking care of yourself. You have been so super supportive of so many including me and I am so grateful. Happy to inspire laughter always! xoxox

  2. I too have engagement fatigue. I want to go to Shellyland! That sounds absolutely delightful! I think we should add it to your list of products-to-create. It will be more fun and whimsical than Disney and they will have fans for our hot flashes and huge posters of your art everywhere with rock music in the background. Doesn’t it sound wonderful?!

    • Eu like to take journeys and I like to take euphonic and romps! Hopefully neither Eu nor I have to defend any prolixity. Thank you so much for your gracious sentiments. So happy to think of Eu smiling and laughing! It’s not hard to do!

    • Somehow my response to Jeff populated again. Oops. Hi Kimberly! Shelleyland welcomes you anytime and yes, fans for hot flashes, plenty of ladies rooms, a wax museum of ex-boyfriend looking figures who automatically say, “You are still soooo hot” when we walk by and yes, rock music everywhere with giant collage billboards! So fun! Thank you for reading and joining in the antics!

    • Eu like to take journeys and I like to take euphonic and romps! Hopefully neither Eu nor I have to defend any prolixity. Thank you so much for your gracious sentiments. So happy to think of Eu smiling and laughing! It’s not hard to do!

  3. Your humorous approach to things inspires me, my friend. Engagement fatigue – ah, you’ve put a name to something I’ve been feeling from time to time, too. Tonight I’ll be looking for the the bird having sex on the middle-aged star. ;]

  4. Ok, Shelley, the gift that keeps on coming. Again, your wit mixed with honesty and incredible writing is a potion which one cannot resist. Engagement fatigue is a perfect way to write what many of us are experiencing, but you do not give us fatigue with your engaging twist.💖

    • Wow! Thank you for this yummy comment. So honored by your sentiments. It took me a long time to realize that when I feel something, it’s not in isolation and that many people feel the same way. I promise to keep on writing and I am so grateful it resonates with you and so grateful this crazy time has ignited so much creative energy for all of us.