Productivity Does Not Equal Worthiness

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. today singing like a lark. I hopped out of bed, washed dishes, folded laundry and baked a quiche.Shocked

I know. I am as shocked as you are.

As I was headed upstairs to put clean towels into the bathroom, my husband asked me what smelled so good. I said, “I baked a quiche.”

He said, “What the fuck?”

He could not believe what was happening.

Dexter was not impressed.
Dexter was not impressed.

I have always struggled with mornings. I have come to realize that I need more time and quiet than my life can provide without getting up super early. I am stuck between a rock and my alarm clock.

I don’t even believe in alarm clocks.

That’s obviously not true but I hate them so much. Like deep, deep disdain.

Today is different somehow. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and my mind went to work straight away as it always does. Two meetings, a press interview, workshop preparation, donations to count and most importantly, people to thank. Typically, I roll over and fight by body for more blessed, blessed sleep. Today, I took advantage of my strange good nature and got up.

You guys, it’s quiet here when everyone is asleep.

I made room for my brain to have it’s thoughts. I brought out my list of to dos. I didn’t plan to DO anything yet. I practiced mindfulness and added things to my list as they floated over folded towels and whisking eggs. I made my cup of tea and listened to my favorite creative podcast. I had ideas as I used colored pencils to fill in flowers and leaves on a notecard.

I found space in my day for the quiet beginnings my brain seems to need these days.

I’ve been straight up preaching #militantselfcare and my focus has been learning about how I roll in the world. I’m actually giving a workshop on it in a few days. My new found meditation practice has offered me mindfulness that I can take into my day and just discover the way I move with gentleness and without judgment.

As a side note: my first thoughts while coloring today were related to staying in the lines, picking the right colors and doing it RIGHT. I giggled at myself, shook my head and just picked up a damn pencil. No judgment just release. It felt good.

I suppose this wakefulness probably has something to do with the amazing sleep I got last night. I did this weird thing. I went to bed when I was tired. I didn’t play a rousing game of Candy Crush, I didn’t watch two episodes of not much on Netflix. I didn’t kill time by trying to steal it back from the clutches of a busy day. I curled up next to my guy with hair still damp from the shower and fell asleep.

Oh heaven.

I have had some trouble concentrating lately. The spaces between sentences in books are filled with things I should be doing. I can’t seem to decide where to start my day and so I attack it mindlessly hoping that at the end of the day my wild swinging will amount to a knock out.

I’m feeling dissatisfied and a little lost. I’m not entirely sure why.

I’ve been trying a few new things and I’ve been forced into new environments. Change is not my favorite. Neither is uncertainty. Wouldn’t you agree?

I think most would.

My office is between moves. My brand is being built. My book is being researched.

Oh. And my children are home for spring break this week which adds a layer of disorganization that I cannot even explain in words. And by disorganization, I mean that I intentionally didn’t sign them up for any camps, events, activities because I realized I missed them. We’re spending time together. For better or for worse (but mostly for better).

I am feeling unsettled but after last night’s amazing rest. I have to say, I think I was largely just feeling tired. Turns out, they’ve actually discovered the cure for that.

Sleep.

On a certain day, a few weeks ago, I wrote down that I desired to feel productive above all else and then I went to work. I plowed through. I focused. I pushed. I ignored speed bumps, distractions, hunger pains, thirst and rest. I was a raging, maniac of productivity. I got shit done.

I was productive. I just wasn’t very happy. These new boundaries and militant self-care principles are lending me lessons in what feels good. Being productive is my way of feeling really worthy but I’ve discovered it is not my way of being truly happy.

Productivity is my addiction.

I get into these grooves of productivity and it’s like a drug. My brain starts to get all hype and starts saying things like:

Look at you slicing and dicing in that inbox. Ooh, man. You are so good at this. Wow. I wonder what else we can pull off today. Forget about that drink. You’re only thirst is for success. You are just so organized and smart. Don’t let that email slip by unnoticed. You are a magician. You’re not hungry. You’re busy. Keep it up. Ignore that cramp in your foot. Keep typing. Keep building. Slam that leftover cake slice if you have to but get this shit done.

I am not made worthy because I work. I am worthy because I am here. That’s it.

Today, I have been productive and now, I am going to go be happy. I am choosing to be satisfied with what I’ve done and release what I have not. I am setting down my addiction to productivity one mindful day at a time. I am blowing the whistle that ends this shift. For now, rest. It cures what ails ya.

Wishing you sweet dreams,10422206_10153223997448588_38878537589826032_n

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PS – I’m probably napping right now.

Hopeful Days

It is finished.

Well, actually, it has all just begun. However, my blog break is over.

School. Derby. Work. Family. Friends.

Life is in full swing and not in that order.

It is not swinging on a gentle breeze. It is surviving gale force winds and wrapping itself around the poles that are struggling to stay cemented in the ground. This mad rush follows a difficult research period that has left me trying to find words for the things I experienced.

It is not that I don’t have the words. I do not have polite words. They are angry words complimented with a rich abundance of curses. I am sorting those feelings out and deciding where they belong.

I gave myself the gift of January to settle into a very challenging season professionally, personally and in the world of roller derby.

It was a wise decision.

My goals are big for this year and can easily be rattled off.

  • Be more present with my family.
  • Love my body
  • Pass my classes with flying colors
  • Raise more money for Nyaka than last year
  • Train to skate like an athlete
  • Start speaking publicly
  • Do enough research to justify a research trip for my book
  • Oh! And write a book.

Of course, this list is nothing more than the cliff notes version of the minutes, hours and days structured towards so many coveted accomplishments.

So far, I have a list of things that have developed in response to my goals for 2013.

  • I have almost cried on my way to roller derby practice out of exhaustion. (I will admit that I was about to start my period.)
  • I have stayed up far too late studying because I won’t allow myself to fail.
  • I will be speaking at She Laughs VII tomorrow night to benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing and decided the topic in a Microsoft shower moment this morning.
  • I have chosen to eat and drink with health and fitness in mind.
  • I am saying a big, fat, NO to opportunities that are not in the best interest of my family and our quality time.

I am uncomfortable. I am challenged. I am exhausted.

I can tell I am doing it right.

When have positive changes come with a big, cushy spot of comfort and ease?

Never.

It comes with hunger pains over those donuts someone brought into the office. It comes with the muscle aches of an injury slowly healing. Change comes with the awkward stagger in shoes that need to be broken in.

I am changing. We all are. Up and down, positive and negative we make changes.

It is what we are in the world. We are transient souls.

In the past, I didn’t make goals. I used to shrug them off as bench marks to an unavoidable failure.

I think everytime you look at yourself and decide that you need a change or a transformation you have to have faith in your ability to change before you can take that first step.

I believe that my list is not full of resolutions.

My list is a reflection of just how much faith I have learned to have in myself.

It is based on all the hopes I have for my future and a guidepost on my journey toward loving myself regardless of what value my past tried to dictate.

This is a new perspective for me but it fits.

Everything else is new. Why shouldn’t my perspective be too?

All of my faith, hope and love is invested in that little abreviated list of hope-filled minutes, hours and days.

I wish you enough faith in yourself to do the same.

Sincerely,

Tashmica