Because sometimes you don't want to lean in, you want to lie the fuck down.
(Warning: this post features liberal use of the F-bomb. But hey, we're all adults here.)
Over dinner last week, a friend and I were discussing the tricky subject of balance. "I want to do it all," she mused. "But sometimes I don't want to lean in, I want to lie the fuck down."
Take it from someone who has drunk the green juices, done the downward dogs and booked the spa breaks, all in an attempt to be my "best self".
Balance can’t be found at the bottom of an expensive smoothie, or at the end of a yoga class.
Instead, it's a mindset. And something that's really helped me is a Fuck-It List.
Hear me out...
We spend so much time ticking off our to-do lists, making aspirational Pinterest boards, and thinking about our next big goal, dream or plan. And then we wonder why we burnout?
Ask yourself, honestly: How much energy do you dedicate to things that don't really matter? Or things you think you "should" do, rather than those you actually want to?
Because true balance takes work. It takes sacrifice.
CREATE A FUCK-IT LIST
It couldn't easier: Write a list, mentally or physically, filled with all of the things that aren't deserving of your time, energy or focus.
Think of it as an anti-bucket list of sorts. I call mine a Fuck-It List.
And I’m not kidding. It works. Because once you stop pushing yourself through life, you’ll be amazed by how much more energy you have.
Here are just a few of the things on my list:
Mediocre friendships. We all need to protect our energy. For me, that means no more time spent having overpriced lunches out of "obligation".
Athletic activities. After spending my school years forging my mother's signature to get out of sports day, I accept I'm not the athletic type. If I make it to the gym once a week, that's great. But a 10k? Nil interest.
Parking. Look, I hate being a cliche, but life's too short for obsessing over spatial awareness.
Domesticity. While I'm not living in squalor, my urgency to do chores is fleeting. I mean, there are so many other things I want to do. As a result, I only clean properly in a panic before someone comes round, and I'm ok with that.
Giving up dessert. I've tried a life without dessert and it's not a life I want to lead. Sorry.
None of these things matter. They’re all irrelevant. And by acknowledging them, saying “fuck it” and waving them on their way, I free myself up to be as energetic and alive as possible.
Because you know what? I’m brilliant at many other things. And so are you. If you want to live a constructive life, you have to stop mentally cursing yourself over things that don't matter.
Some days you thrive, and others you merely survive. Some days you want to lean in, and others you want to just lie the fuck down.
It's impossible to be everything for everyone. But if you treat yourself with a little more acceptance and understanding, you’ll find you have so much more to give.