It’s 7 am on Monday morning and your alarm is going off. The sound is crueler than Fergie’s rendition of the National Anthem, because it marks the beginning of the five worst days of the week. Is it Friday yet? Do you really have to go to work? Why not be a lady who lunches? What if you just hit the snooze button for the tenth time? Then it hits you. There is a solution to this problem. Many solutions actually. All you have to do is catch the flu, contract the Zika virus, win the lottery, join the cast of Real Housewives, or become an Oscar award-winning actress in the next twenty minutes. Then you can stop hating your life. And more importantly, you can really live your dreams- staying in bed all day watching Netflix, eating junk food, reading tabloids, and discussing the latest news about The Royal Family in your group text all while wearing your favorite worn sweatpants. And all those other things you want to do with your life.
But as they say, not all dreams come true. So you drag yourself to work in clothes that look straight out of your grandma’s closet and face another day of doing something you don’t love. Not all superheroes rock capes. Another day of putting the paycheck first, doing what society expects of you, making your parents proud, and putting yourself dead last. It’s a day of faking smiles, forcing laughs, engaging in boring conversations, dealing with awful clients, not having enough time to eat or pee, pretending to listen to Sarah from accounting, and counting down the minutes until it’s time to go home. And when the clock strikes five, you’re free. Free from the office but the shackles still follow you home.
By the time you close the door to your apartment, you’re too tired to do anything. You put on your pajamas and army crawl to the couch. When your significant other asks you how your day was you want to scream, cry, and punch them in the face. Suddenly you turn into Goldie Hawn from “First Wives Club” and are a crying, blubbering mess talking about how misunderstood you are. The feelings are seeping out of you in a very aggressive rage and you feel out of control. Are you about to get your period? No, you’re just losing your shit. So you do the only thing you know how. You put on Netflix. But your brain is too tired to pick what to watch. What if you make the wrong decision? The responsibility of putting on the perfect show for your current mood feels too great so instead, you order Postmates. When Eric, your favorite Postmates delivery guy that you see more than your best friends, arrives with your food you calm down. You have just enough energy to scarf down your dinner before crawling into bed and passing out.
Tomorrow you will do it all over again.
Burn out and extreme stress are epidemics many of us are currently facing. Every day is like climbing Everest with all of Angelina Jolie’s children on your back. And once we make it to Friday (the top), we have no energy or willpower to enjoy our weekend. Instead, the impending doom of Monday hangs over our heads and we numb. We numb with food, alcohol, TV, and anything else that allows us to bury down our feelings and true desires.
But, what if I told you there was another day to live your life? What if you could reignite that passion, drive, and light you’ve seen in other people or even once had yourself? It’s possible. And I’m going to tell you how. And no it’s not marrying rich.
Stop doing the things that make you miserable. Just stop. If you hate your job, go get another one. If that sounds crazy to you, you’re in the right place, you need to be reading this. I know every excuse in the book because I’ve used all of them. How about the very popular “my life will begin when prince charming comes along, I win the lottery, and everything I touch turns to gold.”
Stop focusing on what you don’t have. We all want Kris Jenner to adopt us, sprinkle her fairy dust on us, and build us an empire. Start focusing on what you do have- the ability to grow your own empire. Let go of the lack. Stop giving it life and start shifting your focus.
If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, start exploring. Start doing things you’ve always wanted to do but let fear get in the way. Notice what you like and don’t like. Notice what fits and what doesn’t fit. This is valuable information. After you try something new, see how you feel in your body. Do you feel tight? Do you feel an emotion bubbling to the surface? Do you feel calm? Notice your thoughts. Are you beating yourself up? Is your mind clear? Are you thinking more positive thoughts?
If this is too much for you and you’re thinking about all the ways this isn’t possible for you, I get it. So let’s try baby steps.
1. Do one thing that scares you TODAY. Maybe it’s putting yourself up for a job you don’t think you’re qualified for, maybe it’s going to an exercise class you’ve always wanted to try, maybe it’s talking to the boy you think is cute, maybe it’s going left out of the driveway instead of right, and maybe it’s finally thinking about what you want in life and writing it down. Do this every day until you get into the rhythm of doing things for you! And remember it takes roughly 40 days to create a new habit.
2. Make a list of things you like and don’t like. Nothing is off limits. Include EVERYTHING. Don’t censor yourself, write it all down. Once you’ve made your list, ask yourself- how many of the things you like are you actually spending time on? If it’s not much time, ask you yourself why. Figure out a way to do more of the things you like and less of the things you don’t like. It will change how you feel in your mind, your body, and your life.
3. If 1 and 2 feel too difficult for you, that’s ok. Go ahead and put on some music and dance. LET GO! Enjoy! Stop trying to do and control so much. Just BE. And when you’re ready, revisit 1 and 2 and see what they can offer you.
You’re a human being so by default you’re a badass. Human=Badass.
By: Meg Coogan