I’ve been thinking a whole lot about productivity recently. For one, it seems to be in the ether – given the pandemic, people are trying to figure out how to “do it all”. If you are fortunate enough to still have a job that you can work from home, how do you get it done while juggling housekeeping and childcare? Or if you need to still go to work, how do you stay safe and keep your family healthy? If you no longer have a job, how are you gonna make ends meet? Folks are struggling with a terribly long and challenging to do list.
I am in the ridiculously privileged situation of having work to do, doing it mostly from home for years (pre-dating the plague), and living alone. Which means that right now I don’t have to travel for work at all and I just get to stay home and work, cook, work out, eat, work magic, sleep, whatever. All from home, but with no distractions other than the ones I choose for myself.
And yet, I’m having a really hard time “getting it all done”. So I’ve been sitting with the question of what “it all” is, and what the value of getting it done actually is. For me it looks like this:
Everyday, I need to sit at my altar. I pull a card, I journal, and I meditate for 20 minutes. Sometimes I work on other witchy stuff as well, but those three actions are non-negotiables, which means that I sit at the altar for at least 30 minutes everyday. I do this because my relationship with Spirit is what guides everything else in my life. Also because if not other people are more likely to get The Look™ from me, usually for no good reason. So I do need to start the day with spiritual alignment and mental and emotional hygiene.
A month ago, I started working out at home. I did a 30 day challenge of working out for 15 minutes e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y and I actually completed it, so I graduated to the 90 day version and while I’m freaking exhausted all. the. time. I’m going for it. Because I know I wanna be able to reach my knees 20 years from now, and also the endorphins do help the mental health. It’s boring and I hate it but I do it anyway cause I trust it’s the best thing for me in the long run. So I’m looking for a way to really build this into my routine. Today I got around to it at 3pm. Ha.
My consulting work has me working with folks that wanna get the current clown out of the White House and reform democracy in the US, and another group that wants to accelerate global ecosystem restoration. I love both ideas, I’m happy to help, feel great to be able to contribute…and they pay my bills. So this takes a whole lot of my waking hours. As it should.
I also want to write more, do more tarot readings, finish the online course I’m developing, sell the script I FINALLY completed after talk to my mom, see my little niece online, hang with my friends, spend time with my partner. All of this feels like a lot to fit into a day or a month. And I don’t even have the added burden of having to look after a family or have to look for a job or feel at constant risk of getting sick (not any more than anyone else following all the precautions). And yet the feeling that it’s all “too much” is still real.
A smart friend once told me that if you’re not happy with something there are two options: the problem is micro, at the individual level, in which case get help (i.e. go to the shrink, a support group, read self-help, work magic, etc.) or it’s macro, at the systemic level, in which case – organize!
I believe that right now the transformation underway is asking us to look at our lives from both perspectives. From a personal standpoint: what do you really care about? What do you actually need? What do you value most? Is your life set up to deeply nurture those things? How can you get support? From a systemic perspective: you are not imagining it, you are a pawn of the powerful, your needs are not being considered, and you are in fact being asked to do the impossible – and somehow you are doing, holy shit you’re awesome! But enough is enough.
Please consider what is feasible, and what is definitely asking too much of a human, and decide if you need to address it at the individual level or at the macro level. Do not be afraid to share with others where you feel at your capacity – chances are others are feeling it too. Do not feel inadequate that you can’t “do it all” – no one can! And why would you want to? For me, I’ve realized that a lot of what I really value most are things that don’t pay the bills, and that most folks would consider a waste of time. Luckily, I have been able to find ways to support myself financially that I don’t mind at all, and I am free to spend the rest of my time witching the fuck out, not having to justify it to anyone. But the logistical work to get here on the practical level and the emotional work of getting right with myself to value what I value and like what I like and do what I do was not easy. Or fast. And so worth it. Still, we have a shitton of work to do on the macro level. See you there.