If you missed it in the comments from The Great Day Of Failure, there has been a wonderful conversation between John in Philly and STxAR about the nature of human failure, viewed as a physical material which at some point becomes deformed or extended beyond its ability to recover (I have the best commenters!). The discussion point, if I do not mistake it (John and STxAR, keep me honest) is that materials have a point of structural failure and that humans also have their own mental point of structural failure - in the context of failing at things, but in other things as well - beyond which they are never quite the same.
I actually find this an engaging topic because I have had to work my way through it personally.
For those that are newer arrivals, in February of 2020 I was transferred out of the job role I had held for the last 18 years (A Sort of Hammerfall) due to the perception that the position I held was significantly beyond my ability to effective execute it. I was not let go but was reassigned into a new role in Project Management.
What I have found, over the course of the last year, is that my interest and my ability to learn and execute on this new subject have drastically waned.
I cannot fully define it for you other than to say I feel "different" - much less plugged in and much less engaged in learning, both in this role as well as other things in life. I feel less enthused about learning on the whole, less willing to plug into things.
Is this evidence of being stretched beyond one's ability to recover? Not physically of course, but mentally and spiritually?
I am different after that afternoon in February - or rather, I am different perhaps not so much from that afternoon as the two-three years that led up to up to that afternoon. The stress - all mental of course - was such that I never, ever want to be in that position ever again. Frankly, if I never managed another person again or had to make an assessment on a quality-related issue not directly related to me, I would be happy.
In trying to assess this, I do wonder if it can be recovered from - not the sense of going to back to the role (having tasted the world of non-supervisory work for the first time in 20 + years, I am not going back) as much as my concentration, focus, and interest. Human minds are not structural materials; they are far more elastic.
Bu the reality to me is shocking real, even now. In some indefinable way, the before and after February 29th me is different. And I do not know quite what to do about it.