My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do. -Francine Jay
There is so much to discover we want less of. This doesn’t mean becoming less curious. For many of us, life has become full of so many things. Actually, it is crammed. Even the corners, where there is usually some space, are full. We are constantly busy and it’s really taking the joy out of everything. But we sign up and promise and commit and give our word. We feel like if we are to change, or let go, we won’t be people of integrity. For some reason, we really believe this.
But amidst all of this chaos, some of us are noticing we are mad. Not a little bit mad, but bubbling over, can barely contain ourselves mad. And the reason for this is because we have built this life we really don’t really want and don’t believe in because we are trying to make everyone around us happy. And we are particularly mad because we identify as feminists and how could any self-respecting feminist create this kind of people pleasing life? It is all a bit embarassing. And when I say embarassing, I mean the kind of embarassing that has nothing to do with what other people think, but those cringing moments when you are alone, reflecting, and you know in your bones that you’ve gotten something dead wrong and that it’s on you, and only you, to fix it.
So we fix it. We summon the strength to give ourselves a blank slate. We don’t explain ourselves and we don’t ask permission. We just do what we need to do, and that’s it. We start over, try again. It’s weird to begin anew. It’s alienating and, at times, lonely. We purge. And we purge and purge some more. Because we want space. We want all the space we need, which is sometimes a lot, sometimes even an unreasonable amount. But even more than having the space, we want to be unapologetic about it. And that’s where the shift begins.
It takes many of us several years to really stand in our lives and realize we are entirely responsible for what we have built. We slow things down considerably. For now, we work for simplicity and to serve only a handful of priorities. It’s working.
We are far from done this life’s work, but there is a peace where we find ourselves when we are beholden to no one, when what we are living becomes intentional. If it isn’t working, we’ll work to change it. It’s ours for good and bad.
Maybe the biggest shift is recognizing that asking for what we need is brave, but also the only way to really take responsibility for living.