I totally slayed it last week if I do say so myself. I usually try really hard for a couple days and burn myself out or convince myself it’s not worth it so I give less effort. Not this week. I got up early every day, did the high priority tasks first and squeezed as much as I could out of the time I had, doing important things back to back to back. Now I’ve had hyper-productive weeks before, but they’re usually driven by a superficial motivation that I eventually deem unworthy of so much effort. This time, it felt like I was motivated by the work itself, which was totally weird, but I liked it. I was hooked on working and I was happy to be doing it. I got through the dark playground and found a state of flow.
It’s also worth mentioning that I didn’t do busy work. I didn’t do stupid errands so that I could put off doing important things. I’ve had weeks where I cross a hundred things off my list, but I still feel empty. This week, I crossed off a lot of the important things while toeing the line so that I would’t totally exhaust myself. And as a result, something amazing happened.
I had one of the best days of my life on Saturday.
Now, there’s days that are amazing because something awesome happens, like you meet the love of your life or get a promotion. Then there’s Ferris Bueller days where you have an adventure and end up with a great story. This was a super ordinary Saturday. No plans, no adventure, but I didn’t realize how much awesomeness is in an ordinary day. I’m usually so stressed out or my mind is in other places, that I don’t get to enjoy normal life. It kind of reminded me of when I first quit sugar. Suddenly I could detect the sweetness in lettuce. It’s like your senses return and you’re able to detect the subtle awesomeness in everything when you’re so longer assaulting your faculties with distractions and intense stimuli.
I got up at a reasonable time and cleared out the clutter in the bedroom and polished up my favorite things and made some homemade beauty products. Instead of driving to the grocery store, we walked to the farmers market. We tried new veggies and took the long way home so we could explore the neighborhood. There was so many people in Old Towne, but we didn’t have to bother with traffic or parking, so we roamed into shops we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. We didn’t buy anything, but we appreciated everything we saw and pointed cool things out to each other. I grabbed a quick late breakfast, and then took one of the best burrito naps in the history of burrito naps. I just drifted off and I didn’t even move until I stirred awake at what seemed like a perfectly timed REM cycle. I wasn’t groggy or anything. Then we made lunch and some food for the next day so we’d have less to meal prep. I just winged the recipe and it turned out awesome. We ate outside on the front porch as the sun was setting. Luis and I had individual plans with friends that got cancelled so we decided to watch Captain America. We spent the whole day laughing and being ridiculous. No talk of chores, bills or all the other boring stuff that comes with adulthood.
It was so simple, but it made me so happy. Usually on Saturdays we would run errands or drive to some big box store and buy crap or go buy some overpriced boring entertainment. I’d feel tired going into the weekend and bored doing whatever we were doing or I’d spend it worrying about what I had to do or cleaning or consuming and consuming. It was creating a never-ending feedback loop of exhaustion, boredom and desperation.
The zero-waste habits are helping to curb the consumption, which in turn frees up a lot of time to actually be productive, which frees up time for earned leisure, which is actually relaxing, which then gives me the energy I need to get things done and leaves me happy because everything is balanced. Sure it requires more effort to make your own food, sort and repurpose waste, make products, but it doesn’t feel like a burden. It’s strangely easier. It’s like you’re carrying more, but they’re more like balloons than rocks.
I’m starting to see how valuable “no” is and how it’s making all this possible. It’s everything really. When you put the most important things first and say no to all the other stuff that doesn’t fit or have any lasting value, you make room for everything else to fall into place. Then you actually have time left over to really enjoy and do more things that matter. I’m hoping I can keep it up. So far, so good. Today I even woke up at 4:50 am because I wanted to get to work. The last time that happened, was…oh yea, never. So I’m definitely on to something.