You Have to Learn to Pace Yourself

I’ve been thinking a lot about pressure. To be more specific I’ve been thinking a lot about the pressure we put on ourselves.

January is over. The first month of 2021 is gone. Did anyone else feel like January was as long as this pandemic? No? Just me? Ok.

Let me ask you this then: Are you pleased with what you got done in January? Or do you feel like you could’ve done more?

If you’re thinking the latter then this post is for you. You are my people.

Like you, I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done in January. There were moments I had time reveal itself to me but I didn’t take it. Twelve days in, I started to resent myself for not taking the free time I had.

The instant a weight of self-loathing began pressing on my shoulders, I paused everything I was doing and gave myself a pep talk. I took out my journal and literally wrote, “Relax! It’s only the first month of the year.”

After that, I took a few deep breaths and decided to give myself the next day off. I read, I rewatched season 3 of Cobra Kai, and I updated my Spotify playlists. For the rest of the month, I allowed myself to get away with not doing something just because there was time to do it. 

And you know what, it was glorious.

I pride myself on being a productive person. I’m always writing something, plotting something, reorganizing something. Having my own business and working from home gives me the freedom to change my hours as I see fit. Though I usually stick to the same hours, it’s nice to know I have the flexibility to alter them if something comes up.   

I want to share this tweet from author and screenwriter, C. Robert Cargill:

He isn’t kidding. 

In January alone we saw a siege on the Capitol building, a second impeachment, and the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Madam Vice President!!!). Basically, it was a month of roller-coaster emotions. People were scared, excited, hopeful, worried. I myself felt all of those plus some. My mind was so preoccupied with the state of the world, I barely had the creative energy to write.

If you — like me — didn’t get a lot done because you were trying to hold it together, it’s ok.

Personally, the majority of the writing I did during January was journal writing. My goal was to make sure my mental state was in check. The last thing I worried about was a deadline or finishing my plot outline. 

Now, if you were able to write or complete your January to-do list, way to go! Never be ashamed for working hard. Everyone reacts differently to historical moments. Whatever your reaction was to these January events, I’m here to tell you it’s normal.

February is a new month. The Age of Aquarius starts in February. It is a time of rebirth and transition. Let January be known as the month you dipped your toes in the water. February is the month you’ll jump in, swim forward, and never look back.

Let’s go!

If you don’t already I recommend following C. Robert Cargill on Twitter. He posts a lot of inspirational and relatable writing posts.

Fun fact: The title of this post comes from Billy Joel’s song “Pressure.” It’s a great tune that was sung by Jane Levy on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist in an absolutely hysterical scene. If you’re not watching that show, I highly recommend giving it a go. I’ve never laughed and cried so much.

How did your January go? Did you get everything done that you wanted to? Did you feel more stressed than usual? Comment below.

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