On not having it together, for now

Have you noticed it? I know I have. It’s there, in the calmest moments of the day. It’s in the minutes of quiet and relaxation. It’s filtering into the space that’s reserved for pure enjoyment and nothingness.

It’s the pull to be doing.

It seems like everyone and their mom has some sort of new morning routine, a side hustle, or a deliberate plan to achieve their goals in 2018 and beyond. Congratulations to everyone and to their mothers on all of this.

But for any woman out there who’s like me, I’m here to say it’s ok to just… not. If this is you, or if you are me, listen up.

You don’t have to have a plan to tackle your goals. You don’t even need them, if you don’t want them. It’s okay to live life as it happens and see where it takes you. I’ve found the flexibility in this mindset has opened doors and paved paths to happiness that are far better than any plans I could have drawn.

You don’t have to have a morning routine to be a happier or successful person. It’s just not for everyone. And because people you admire for their success, power, or status might do it doesn’t mean that that’s what makes them successful, powerful, or accomplished. Please feel free to sleep in or do whatever if that’s what makes you your best you.

You don’t need to have a job on top of a job on top of life responsibilities and relationships and commitments. In most cases, women bear an unequal division of household labor (I should note that I am extremely lucky I don’t) and general life tasks, not to mention the weight of societal pressures and routines that simply take more of our free time from us. Add up all the time you spend on beauty routines, for example. You don’t have to monetize your hobbies. You don’t need to make the things you do for fun the things you do for work. This also ties into the generally bad advice to “do what you love” — often, taking that path can leave you with nothing but cold, pure hatred and disdain for things that used to bring you joy.

Ask me how I know.

I’m not writing this as a criticism of women who do or enjoy these things. If they enrich your life and truly bring you happiness, by all means, please continue on your personal path to greatness.

This is more of a note I’m writing to myself as a reminder that stillness is acceptable. (And maybe right now isn’t the time for these things, but another time in the future will be. I’m learning life has many rich and varied seasons.)

Creativity needs space to thrive.

There’s a time for work and discipline in life, and turns out it’s not every waking moment of your existence. It simply doesn’t have to be.

In the spaces between, life is allowed to be still, quiet, and empty. And that can be good.