I've been debating whether to post or not, but here goes............
I've been a senior tech for the past 10 years working for several big labs. I'm a good tech with strong worth ethics, my PI's have all valued my contributions and treated me well. My most recent position fell prey to the US funding slashing and everything has come to a screeching halt at a time when we were on the verge of several awesome accomplishments. I have fortunately found a new position that starts in a couple of months but is only going to last for a year or two. I find myself under a forced vacation collecting unemployment and seemingly suffering from the emotional loss of my projects that remain unfinished. (A lot of woulda, shoulda, coulda going on, even though my brain knows I did all that I physically could) Thankfully, I have a new job with a great PI to keep me afloat while I search for another more "stable" position. My former PI was able to talk with friends and find others with a little extra money to help me out. (Pretty awesome feeling )
After giving 200% for extended periods of time, taking little to no real vacation time except when I'm too exhausted to continue and am forced to take time off to rest, I fear I have reached the point of no return and am totally fried - burnt out.
I know that this is my fault, I'm driven and pick up the slack for slackers in the lab, I am so passionate about the projects I undertake and never say quit.
My biggest concern is that I just can't find my mojo and jump into the new lab job with a new project. I want to be reading, cracking the books, taking online tutorials and the like to get ready for the new job, but can't seem to even go near my books. (Well, I did go in and look at them in the bookrack a couple of times). It's also hard to go full speed on the new job, knowing that it is only temporary.
I should be enjoying this "vacation" but find that I am so overwhelmed that I'm not doing anything, which brings on the guilt.
Would love to hear from other lab peoples on how they've handled/recovered from burn out or how they've managed to prevent it. My life is so out of balance when I'm working, no time or energy for anything but work, and then it gets hard to drag my tired butt into the lab. My new lab will have a good group of people and I'm hopeful that there will be a better balance in the lab.