Ah, the hustle.
It comes in the form of anxiety, guilt, and comparison. We’ve been told that it’s good, but it exhausts us, leaves us defeated, and makes us think that perhaps life would better be lived under the covers of our nice, cozy, beds.
At least there, we tell ourselves, we’d find peace, rest, and simplicity.
But you and I both know that’s not realistic.
There is dinner to prepare, laundry to wash, homework to supervise, a blog post to write. The to-do list hangs over us like a black cloud.
It seems almost never-ending, which means we often feel never-rested.
We can’t live like this.
Doctors, psychology, studies, and history tell us that the never-rested life is often a short one.
We need rest like we need nourishment, but our society is in the practice of denying this.
The number of hours we sleep (or don’t sleep) has become one of highest badges of honor. We proudly proclaim that we haven’t had a vacation in multiple years, a date night in multiple months, or a nap in multiple weeks.
“I’m just so busy!” we explain.
I was talking with a friend the other day.
Sitting across from me, over coffee, she explained that she had to order a quad venti in order to get going during the day. Each afternoon, she would down at least one energy drink to help her work through the afternoon slump and late into the evening.
She’d pick up dinner on the way home, she said, and most of the time she ate it standing up, over the sink, while shouting at the kids to get in bath or bed.
The sad thing is, I related.
A few years ago, I was in her shoes.
Our conversation turned, thankfully, to seeking a solution. We both admitted that hustle was a struggle, and that the call to not only be enough, but to be MORE, was running and ruining our lives.
And right there, on the back of Starbucks napkins, we made an anti-hustle manifesto.
It goes like this:
- I will sit down when I eat.
- I will slowly ease myself off of caffeine, reserving coffee for social situations instead of everyday life.
- I will schedule guilt-free nap time.
- I will admit that I need rest.
- I will admit that “busy” exhausts me.
- I will not compare myself to people who seem to be able to scale Kilimanjaro in a single day.
- I will thoughtfully define what DAILY success means to ME, and I will celebrate achieving it.
- I will not berate myself for days that I don’t hit that success bar.
- I will sit down when I eat.
- I will walk to the other room to communicate with my kids and spouse.
- I will schedule date nights like they are business meetings.
- I will schedule workouts and walks and will not berate myself if I only get to the gym a few times a month.
- I will daily do my best, and accept that it is enough.
You could probably add a few lines to that manifesto.
In fact, I encourage you to.
When was the last time you said you were too busy?
Why did you say it? Is the busy-ness for a meaningful cause? Is that busy-ness something you can directly correlate with progress in your life? When was the last time you were exhausted? Why did you not take a nap or go to bed early?
Was it for a good reason?
What are you sacrificing rest for?