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What To Do When You’re Tired

You haven’t heard from me in a while.

In August, I launched Made For These Times, and per the rules, I did the email blasts, podcast interviews, social media posts. Pushing, pushing, pushing to get people to buy, share, and care.

Sales have been good and the reviews are nice. Then something awesome and terrible happened…

We had another kid.

Meet Leo Zoradi. He’s a cute little guy. Or as my wife refers to him, “Our little potato elf.”

Here’s the thing when you have a baby: Your life tilts dramatically inward. You don’t sleep. Your marriage can get strained. Your house is definitely a mess. The first kid is very suspect of the new one. And all the big stuff you cared about gets harder and harder to maintain.

For the first six weeks after having Leo, I was a mess. I had all these expectations for this next season, especially with the book released. I’d slow down for paternity leave and then I’d launch a video course, do some speaking gigs, and stay active in sharing the powerful message of Made For These Times. I’d continue to build, inspire and create.

But I couldn’t do it.

I was exhausted. I was supposed to skillfully balance our growing family alongside my larger vision but instead, I found myself angry, volatile, and sharp. I didn’t like the person I was becoming. Four hours of sleep a night will do that.

Without realizing it was even happening, I began second guessing all I’ve done in the past as irrelevant, beginning to believe I’ll never be able to produce like that again. The hissing lies of the Resistance were constricting my soul like a python.

Then an unlikely friend slapped it out of me. We ran into each other on the street near my office. As I explained my current challenges with bleary eyes, he very kindly put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Dude, I would kill to have what you have right now.”


In an instant, I realized how selfish I’d been. This incredible season of my life is difficult, sure. But what I really needed was to be thankful for this season and reset the weighty expectations I put squarely on my own shoulders.

So I pushed back the video course to next year. Turned down a few speaking opportunities and didn’t stress about finding any new ones. I stopped caring about selling a book and just focused on the work and family in front of me. I didn’t create anything. I just allowed myself to be here, present, laser-focused on my wife and kids.

There is so much emphasis in our western culture to constantly be growing and improving, especially when it comes to career and vocation. The, “If you stop, you’ll sink” mentality is the centerpiece of entire self-help industries.

I used to believe in the gospel of momentum. But now, I believe in certain seasons, a holding pattern isn’t so bad. Seasons of present tense, focusing inward and on the day in front of you isn't sinking, it’s recharging. These small gaps of your very long life, if done intentionally, prepare us for what comes next.

So if you’re burned out and exhausted, suffering under the weight of what you think the future holds, consider just stopping for a time. Turn it off, shut down that part of your brain, and give yourself a few months. Mark it on the calendar like this and let it go until then.

*Holding pattern on THAT THING until March 1st, 2019*

I used to fear that if I stopped, I’d lose the passion God placed within me. But now I know that’s not true. As I eliminated the expectations and strategy for my future I thought were so critical, I began to feel free. And when you’re free, you can build. Like lit kindling, I can already feel the creativity crackling again.

- JZ

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