Picture this: It’s a Monday morning in July. I wake up at 3:00 am and roll out of bed, climb the stairs to our tiny Brooklyn kitchen, and make coffee. I’m awake because my nerves went into overdrive the second my eyes opened. Falling back asleep is out of the question.
“It’s a blessing in disguise”, I think, squinting into the glow of my phone screen. “A chance to get a head start on the week.”
But as soon as I creep into my office and sit down in my computer chair, I feel a weight on my shoulders. The to-do list weight. The self-care weight. The “should have been more creative this weekend” weight. The “should be acting more like a business owner instead of a hobbyist” weight.
The messy desk. The half-written blog post. The scary news headline. The mile-long list of ideas. The weight of feeling like nothing is happening fast enough, from growth to wellness to fitness and beyond.
All the weights! I’m buried. There’s hardly time to recognize my own existence under this proverbial pile of stressors. I reach one arm out to feel around my desk for my coffee cup. My mind goes to thoughts like, “You just have to power through this week. Don’t waste time. Stay on track.”
I think of the social post I want to share in order to convey this go-getter mentality that grips me on Mondays. Then I wonder if I’m a walking contradiction. After all, I specifically chose not to hustle-and-grind my way through life, remember? I’m freelancer. A free spirit. A free bird.
But I’ve adopted my own kind of toxic hustle-and-grind—one you might be familiar with—that seems to especially plague frazzled creatives.
One task that’s half-buried beneath another task (and another, and another), so that I truly don’t know where to begin sometimes. And why does it matter? Most of what I do will never be seen or appreciated.
Is it any wonder we start off the week feeling stressed with these nasty, heavy thought patterns? I feel my pulse quickening just writing about this stuff. But I think facing them is the first step to overcoming them. That’s why I’m writing this.
Because I want the rest of summer to feel peaceful, even if it doesn’t feel productive. I want it to feel lush, even if I don’t live out some Pinterest-fueled fantasy of what summer is supposed to be.
I want to notice more little things, appreciate more of what’s already good in my life, and stop pinning myself against this fantasy version of myself that’s supposedly waiting for me at the bottom of my to-do list.
Here are 6 things I’m letting go of to honor the rest of summer 2021…