What you don’t see: I had a bad month

What you don’t see: I had a bad month

I wrote this at the end of January, then didn’t publish it. It still feels relevant, so I’m sharing it now. Sometimes you can accomplish a lot and have it feel like nothing. I know this intellectually; it’s part of why I’ve worked so hard to untether my sense of self-worth from external accomplishments. But when you expect to feel something, and you don’t, it can feel like a letdown regardless of what you know to be true.

I got a lot done this month. As of this writing, I’m 44,000 words into a novel I started writing on January 1. This is the ninth blog post I’ve published. I’ve studied French 26 days in a row. I’ve meditated every day of 2019. I’ve recorded six podcast episodes.

Amid all of this, I was bored. I was exhausted. I felt disconnected from other people, but also like connection wasn’t something I particularly wanted at this juncture. I went back and forth on whether I actually want the thing I keep claiming I want. (I still don’t know.) I resented everyone, myself included. I either started work at 6 a.m. (work work, the kind I get paid for), or I couldn’t get out of bed until 9.

I spent a lot of time wondering what the point is of all of this. Life, on a macro level. My creative work, on a micro level. Even my death-reminder app failed to make me feel more alive.

Then there were the deals I didn’t keep. Things I was supposed to leave in 2018 but didn’t. Dry January cut short on the 27th, when I realized my life had no balance. The yoga I stopped practicing somewhere around January 7. The half marathon I decided not to run. Eating dairy again and getting no joy out of it, just congestion. Consuming things — food, wine, affection — like they’ll eventually fill me up.

Nothing sounds good to me right now. Nothing sounds fun. Everything feels capable of being divested.

So let’s try a different month.

How to get out of your own way and do the work

How to get out of your own way and do the work

I’ve mentioned before that I’m three months into a yearlong creativity course: the Raise Your Hand Say Yes Inner Circle with Tiffany Han. Our group discussion the other day turned to how to push past self-created drama to actually do the work. I shared some thoughts in our private group on Mighty Networks, but wanted to share them here as well. Here are three ways to shake off doubt, fear, anxiety, whatever to get your work done:

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