Nov 13, 2020/ Nora McInerny
Lately my brain feels like a full sponge. There’s nothing else that could possibly be absorbed, and most stuff is just spilling out. What a delicious visual, especially if your sponges are anything like the ones in our sink.
I love the idea of a grounding morning routine, but I also really like to get eight hours of sleep every night and if that means bolting out of bed with just enough time to pour some coffee in my body and step into the closet exactly two minutes before the Zoom call starts so be it.
When the pandemic started, I was irked by the number of people pushing out messaging that this was the time to really dig in and make your dreams happen.
Sure, there’s a mysterious and highly contagious virus ripping through our communities but don’t you want to come out of quarantine with abs and a finished screenplay? Don’t you want to use this newfound “free time” to start a new side hustle or write a novel?
We do not have more time than we did a year ago. We were always cramming five pounds of work into a one-pound bag — now we’re cramming even more. When the line between work and home becomes the threshold of your closet or the shutting of your laptop as you drift off to sleep, you cannot possibly tell yourself that you have more time on your hands.
Your time is still spoken for many times over, and the things that you struggled to fit in before might be just as hard to achieve.
The more time you spend on Instagram, the more certain you can become that you are the only person in the world who is struggling right now, the only person who hasn’t figured out a way to optimize their way through 2020.
You are not.
The other day, I was scrolling through Instagram — which I used to judge myself for as a waste of time and now see as a form of self-soothing — and I stopped on a story posted by my friend Dr. Anna Roth, the professional psychologist who has helped bring our Still Kickin e-courses to life.
Like me, Anna is self-employed, highly caring and wants to do all the things to make the world a softer place to land for people in freefall.
And like me, and so many of us … she is tired. Down to her bones. After taking a break from work and online performance, she returned with this piece of wisdom …
Nothing new for now
Reading those words the first time — and even now — is a big, restorative breath in and out. It’s an unclenching of my jaw, a settling of my shoulders, a clearing of my to-do list and my desk in one fell sweep. (Kidding about that last one, but man, that’s something I want to do at least once in my life.)
I am a person whose self-esteem is not buoyed by past accomplishments but by what’s next. “Potential” is such a loaded term. We want to meet it, exceed it, live up to it.
From childhood, we’re caught in an endless emotional Rube Goldberg machine. First, I’ll do this and then I’ll do that and that will lead to this and then I can feel this which will lead me to that and then and then and then …
Was not reaching, not striving, not optimizing an option? Do you also need a reminder that where you are and what you have and what you’ve done is enough?
I did! I do!
It’s Friday morning as I’m writing this, and the first communication I had with my colleagues was at 8:30AM my time. They were solidly into their work day, and I’d just cracked open my email.
So, of course, I had to let them know I was sorry and that I am ashamed of my laziness.
Hannah replied, “I was still in bed at 8:20. And you know what? I don’t care. I’m a human being, not a robot. I need sleep. And it’s snowing again, like it’s for real winter here. In October.”
It’s “fall” here in Arizona (it was a brisk 66 degrees Fahrenheit on the walk to school this morning), but none of us are robots.
All of us need rest. None of us — as humans, businesses or creatives — can sustain constant growth.
So, say it with me: