What if, all this time, me getting up at 4:30 was about Hustle, yes, but maybe not a good kind? What if, in our rush to glorify boot-straps and entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency and making, there is good Hustle and bad Hustle? And shit, what if I was caught up in the bad kind?
Because I'm reading Brene Brown's excellent Rising Strong, I am thinking about the difference between hustling to build a business, to build a life, and hustling for self-worth. Ooooh, and how those can get confused.
I'm probably most affected by Brene's book since I spent most of the glorious three-day Labor Day weekend laid up with a weird stomach ache, book in hand, reading. A weekend on which I had such amazing far-reaching Type A plans for achievement -- meaning about a million things accomplished, cooked, sewn, written, made, done and done and done and done. And yet, really, I did nothing. I finished 1 book and read another and got about 3/4 of the way through Brene's, but in terms of my list, not much.
So I laid there, with my book and my notebook and my pencils, and realized that I was feeling bad physically and then feeling bad for feeling bad, feeling shitty about feeling shitty, wasting time, entire days that could have been so productive, feeling panicky about everything I was not doing.
Whipping myself along like the worst kind of boss, the kind that can never let you take a break, the kind where nothing you've every accomplished matters, the kind that only values what you're doing right this second and it better be great.
And because I wasn't DOING anything except reading and thinking and feeling physically uncomfortable, I had a chance to stop and think about why I feel so compelled to do a lot. I like getting things done. It feels good to move toward goals, to cross things off lists, to get the most important work done. Same reason I loved my old 4:30am Fuck Yeah Early Early Wake-up Time -- I like having a jump on the day, I want to do a lot, that matters to me.
But when I can't stop -- when I can't give myself a break when I don't feel well -- uh, that does give me pause. What is all this pushing about? Where is the Chill in this Hustle to Chill ratio? Ooooh, you mean I'm only allowed a *planned* Chill, not some unforeseen downtime due to illness? Shoot. That doesn't seem right.
I'm not saying the Hustle is all-bad. But I am watching it in myself, examining the why of it. Do I want to get so much stuff done because I feel more worthy if I do? Is my worth the sum-total of my accomplishments? Or am I doing all this because I love it, because it's fun and makes me happy and I feel worthy no matter what?
The Hustle is tricky. I think it's necessary, but it's tricky. Like everything, it's important to know how much is enough -- to know where is the line past which the Hustle is no longer serving you, but you, somehow, are serving It.
It's a short week and I have a lot to do (especially since I didn't work all weekend). So I'm going to call on that Hustle to help me blister through my List. But for sure I've got my eye on it, thanks to Brene, thanks to a weekend in bed with my books and anxiety. I'm going to use it, but keep it in check. Just enough. That's plenty.