Each day, driving to and from work, I pass a large parcel of land. New owners bought the acreage and cleared the wooded land, leveled it, reseeded it, put up a three-rail fence and began construction on a house, tucked behind a copse of trees they’d left untouched. The house is not visible from the road. Then they trucked in fill dirt and created a mound and started construction on a large barn. Yesterday, the previous limerock road sketched down the eastern side of the property had a new – very long – asphalt driveway. And the house remains unseen.

It is not a matter of being nosy. I understand the desire for privacy and propriety. But, it is the aesthetic, for me, that matters. A grand endeavor to build an estate and yet the view of the home is obstructed. You see the driveway (again, our cultural obsession with the automobile) and the barn. But not the house – the home.

I cannot help but think this reflects on the psychology of the home builder in some way. I assign some deep psychological meaning to their choices. All purely fictional and created in my imagination. But surely, when you are building a custom home on a large landed estate, you have considered each choice thoughtfully.

But people do not consider their choices. Often, they live on autopilot. Making absent-minded choices through a vending machine window, hasty selections at a drive up, whatever acceptances of only what appears in front of them. This is why we eat when we’re not hungry, it’s a mini cupcake, why not? Impulse buy $19.99 pants at Target that aren’t very flattering or practical. Watch the proffered selection by the Netflix AI features based on our prior viewings.

We’re absent. In absentia.

And we’re absent because we are indifferent and apathetic and burned out.

I think its global. We’re exhausted. And I mean it is beyond physical fatigue. It’s more than a few nights of poor sleep. We’re are lost, wandering, adrift. We don’t care and we can’t muster enough energy to care about much of anything.

How do you pull yourself out of burnout? It requires mindfulness – which if you had, you wouldn’t be burned out, right?

You can meditate, exercise, trim bonsai, crochet a blanket, learn sign language, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and you won’t be addressing the ROOT CAUSE of burnout.

You must shift your perspective. If you have been staring at the world the same way – literally and figuratively – you need to shift. Alter your world. It is like repotting a root-bound plant. Potting up to a bigger space. And in that way, you challenge yourself to grow and interact with your new environment.