I’m very hot and cold when it comes to listening to podcasts — sometimes they are exactly what I need to get through the work day, and other times I can’t stand the thought of listening to someone talk while I work and swap them out for music or silence instead. Right now, it’s podcasts 24/7 over here.
I’ve been following Jess Lively since her jewelry business days, when she wrote a blog called Makeunder My Life, which was actually a huge source of inspiration for me in leaving my full-time job and starting my business. These days, she has nearly 300 podcast episodes published. I listened in the early days but eventually needed a break from the interviews, and then from listening to podcasts in general. Recently I’ve found myself gravitating back to her podcast — at the perfect time, actually, as she’s taking an indefinite break, giving me plenty of time to catch up on the archives.
I was recently listening to one of her many episodes with Brooke Castillo, on how to experience more positive emotions everyday. It stood out to me not only because I’ve enjoyed other episodes I’ve listened to with Brooke, but also because I’ve been feeling down lately for no apparent reason. I can hear 5-years-ago me screaming from the sidelines, “You made it! You are exactly where I want to be!” I can take a step back and be really proud of how far I’ve come, and be really grateful for where I’m at in life right now. I know I wouldn’t change a thing. But the day-to-day reality is less rosy. It’s a struggle to stay motivated, and then I chastise myself for the lack of motivation, and it goes in circles.
In full disclosure, I have a history of depression, and lack of motivation is usually how it starts for me. One of the things I’ve learned is that I have to go easy on myself. It’s going to be harder to get through the to-do list, and I’m going to want to beat myself up for that when things are left undone at the end of each day. But I have to do what I can and take breaks when I need them. It feels a bit like wading through a pit of deep mud — the steps are slow and difficult, but every step forward takes you closer to dry, solid land.
Then in the middle of this podcast episode, Jess and Brooke spoke the words I most needed to hear:
Nothing about this day needs to be perfect.
When you start feeling overwhelm (or depression), you run everything through that filter — suddenly all you can see is everything that’s going wrong. When you’re looking for blue, all you see is blue. But if you start your day with the intention that nothing about it has to be perfect, then the bits that aren’t perfect don’t define your day. In adopting this mantra for myself, I find it easier to give myself a bit of grace. The world is not going to end if it takes me longer than usual to accomplish a task. It’s not going to end if there are tasks left undone at the end of the day. I can do them tomorrow.
And you know what? Nothing about this blog needs to be perfect, either. I’ve had this space on my mind a lot lately, and I recently told a friend I missed the ritual of blogging but wasn’t sure where this blog fit in with my business and life anymore. But I didn’t know where it fit in when I first started either — I just wrote and shared, and the path eventually became more clear.
So here’s to letting our days (and our blogs) be messy, imperfect, works in progress.
Until next time,