This is a question I am constantly asking myself. Especially at like 3 AM on a week night when I feel like the world is closing in on me.
I’ve always been a rusher. In fact, I was born a month early. Apparently even in the womb I couldn’t wait to get going. As a baby, my mom said my hands were always clenched tightly to the point where she would have to separate my fingers individually to clean in between them. Then, as a toddler my mom said I would refuse to nap. I was so afraid of missing out on something or falling behind… even then.
Well, not much has changed – but I’m trying to change that. I am rushing myself constantly. Rushing to make a music career happen. Rushing to build my business. Rushing to meet a deadline. Rushing to exceed a client’s expectation. Rushing to respond. Rushing, I’m ashamed to even say it… to yoga class.
My name is Jaclyn, and I have a rushing problem. Can anyone relate?
I’m exhausted from the expectations I put on myself. If someone was telling me they had a schedule similar to mine, I would, without hesitation, say “you’re doing too much.” But when it comes to myself, I always feel I can squeeze a little more juice out of the lemon.
I love this about myself… until I don’t. Lol. My Type A personality has served me so well in so many areas, but the problem I keep coming up against is that I have trouble knowing when to stop. During finals week in college, I would study so hard and stay up so long that when the tests were finally over and I got home, I would immediately get sick. Even though I don’t have finals weeks anymore, I often still do that… drive, drive, drive myself until there is nothing left and my immune system forces me to slow down.
If you’ve been following along recently, you know that I released a single last week. One I wrote almost 5 years ago, and one that, during the week of it’s release, the distribution company missed the deadline. In 4 days I had to completely turn my release plan upside down or risk not releasing it at all on the day I had been telling folks for months that it would be released. I pivoted quickly and decided to release the song privately to anyone that wanted it as long as they signed up for my email list. This allowed me to connect with music fans personally and quite honestly, now, I’m really happy the song was released so intimately. It felt so special.
And it has been special! But it’s also been incredibly stressful. I’m recording and releasing new music (and doing all the branding and marketing and funnels and emailing on my own), running a branding business (SteeleInternational.co), and I was also recently hired by an awesome company in Florida to help them run their marketing business. It’s a lot. And in between I try and eat well, drink water, do yoga or some type of exercise, and spend some QT with the people (and animals) I love.
So why am I tell you this? Because I know you juggle so much, too. I’m not even remotely alone in juggling so many things at once or putting heaps of pressure on myself to get things done in record time. It seems to be the American way, or should I say the American rat race. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to have these amazing opportunities, but I want to be better about knowing when to stop… and when to say “no” when I need an f-ing break.
We all need breaks sometimes. After the scramble of last week I caught myself in a fear spiral that went something like this “Dang girl, you worked your a$$ off this week getting this single out. You wrote emails, recorded and edited videos, did social posts, made calls, etc. and ran a business at the same time. Now what are you going to do? What if you lose all this momentum? I know you’re really tired and you want to celebrate, but you’re going to need to get back at it ASAP or everything you just built will collapse.”
Or everything you just built will collapse…
Isn’t that the lie we tell ourselves to push harder, faster, longer? I’m here to tell you, I don’t want to subscribe to this lie anymore. Anything built that is real, will have the power to last longer than a few days. And even if it did crumble, isn’t our health and wellbeing more important anyway?
I’m all for the hustle. In moderation. I LOVE working hard and reaping the results of the time I put in, but I also know that I’m most creative (and creativity is at the root of everything I do) when I allow myself some freaking space.
I want to give myself this space freely, too. Not put benchmarks on it. Not only give myself permission to enjoy it after I’ve done a through z. No! I want to give myself this precious space whenever I need it. When my eyes start to get blurry after being at the computer screen too long. When my voice gets tired from singing too much. When my legs start falling asleep from being at my desk without getting up. When I have to pee but refuse to allow myself to until I just finish this one. last. thing. Or even when I’m at the most delicious part of a book and I cannot put it down. My life is happening all around me. I want to be there for it. And I want to be there in a way that shows up… really shows up for myself and for others. I can’t do that if I’m rushing all the time.
So here I am, publicly, telling you that I want to stop rushing myself. I want to do one thing at a time. One day at a time. One moment at a time, etc. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get there when we get there anyway. I cannot name one time rushing really served me. Can you?
I hope you’ll join me in this commitment to stop rushing. Not only do you deserve it, but you need it, too. Our lives are meant to be lived not be spent chasing some over-touted American ideal. Let’s take the time to enjoy – say hi to each other, give the ones we love some undivided attention, kick our feet up and drink a cup of coffee because we want to, not because we need it to survive the rest of the day.
YOU are so much more than what you do, achieve, put out, etc. And so am I. I hope we know that.
May we all dream BIG, but know when to take that much needed and well deserved break.
LIGHT, LOVE, & PEACE,
p.s. I asked my husband to read and edit this post last night while I was driving. He had a couple of notes and I was rushing to edit them on my phone the moment we parked. I rushed to edit a blog post about rushing. I am a work in progress…