Hello… I am back! I had taken a bit of a break from the blog, which was actually part of my experiment for April. I essentially needed to take a break from having any goals.
This blog started as a way to document my efforts to “unlearn ambition” and challenge productivity culture. Essentially, I am trying to be less of a workaholic, achievement-oriented person. Each month, I focus on a certain area of my life and write about my experiments, including the challenges I face and what works best for me. In January, worked on setting boundaries, in February I attacked my perfectionism, and in March I focused on building a community of support.
A funny thing about being a perfectionist/workaholic type is that you can sometimes take your own self-improvement too far. It can become homework, something you obsess over, and can even burn out from. Such as… oh I don’t know…starting an entire blog project around it. I stand by the project, because it is the only way I know how to tackle something. Plus, it keeps me accountable and allows me to share my story. Still, this tendency is something that I need to keep in mind. And for April, I decided to make my goal…not having any goals. No plan, no objectives, no list of things to accomplish each week.
Instead, I followed my intuition on what I needed from day to day. Because I was feeling a bit burnt out, this meant I did a lot of self-care. However, instead of doing what I thought I should do, I always tried to step back and figure out what would make me feel good. This meant skipping some social Zoom calls (the ones I had tried so hard to attend in March and were super fun, but totally zapped my energy). One week, I realized I really did want to have a Zoom call, but with my best friends from high school who I feel comfortable with and hadn’t talked to in months. Other days it meant watching a few hours of Netflix without guilt, taking a nap in the middle of the day, baths…all the baths, taking a break from blogging, binging true crime podcasts…it all depended on how I was feeling.
This probably doesn’t sound very radical, but for me, it kind of was. I am the kind of person who typically organizes my life down to the hour, even outside of my work-life. I schedule in walks and meditation. I schedule a certain amount of screen time per day. I make detailed meal plans and rarely eat out. All these things are good I think, and they have helped me be a responsible, healthy person. However, at some point, having your life too organized can become a problem. Only able to think in terms of what you should want or should do, you can lose sight of what you really want.
It was less of a choice and more what I needed this month. I felt super exhausted from March. I spent that month applying for a new job (which I got and started this month- YAY!) and attending Zooms calls and putting myself out there as my experiment in building more community. I had a lot of fun meeting new people, but it left me very tired and I wanted to make sure I rested a lot before I started my new job.
My experiment last month was just what I needed, and I would recommend it to anyone who feels in a funk about their routine, or just feels burnt out by themselves. I am back to the blog for May though, and my focus this month is to address my people-pleasing. This has come up both in my work and personal life, and I think it is a large barrier to having a healthier relationship with work and other people.
I’ll post an update on how it is going soon. If you have any resources or experiences to share, I would love to hear from you!