Hustle felt like the word of 2015. You can find pretty prints of the word all over Pinterest. I have a love-hate relationship with words like this. There is something good and right about working hard and yet there is nothing enviable about working yourself into oblivion. We can probably all think of someone we know (or know of) that just oozes stress, running around like a crazy person.
See, the lie of "hustle" is that it calls you to a hurried pace. There's no counterbalance. No anchor to help slow/stop the suction of the worm-hole of busy. From there, it is easy to fall into the belief that who you are as a person is dependent on what you accomplish, how much you have hustled.
I truly believe we can strive for pacing in life that is healthy—that accounts for working hard, relaxing, and just generally having fun—because who you are as a person is not dependent on what you accomplish or how much you achieve.
I feel this struggle of the hustle firsthand. I have Achiever in StrengthsFinder (see Note below if you aren't familiar), so each day is a blank slate and I need to get things done to feel productive and accomplished. For me, "getting things done" means tasks (i.e. calling the insurance company, scheduling a vet visit, doing laundry, etc.) I am slowing re-orienting my perspective to include things like playing with Finn, going for a walk just for fun, and reading a book into my view of a good day.
So, as I think about my hopes for this year, I want to be mindful of the lie of the hustle. I want to work hard at my responsibilities and be reliable. I also want to leave room in my schedule for time with friends and family, for doing hobbies I enjoy just for the sake of them and not because they might make money or make me look cool. I want to allow myself times to have nothing on my schedule but curling up with a good book. I want to let myself enjoy a night of binge watching a show on Netflix without feeling like it was a waste of time or that I "should have been productive". I want to let myself have times to enjoy things just for the sake of enjoying them. To do something inspiring if the motivation strikes. To let myself linger over brunch with friends. I don't want the hustle to eat me up because I don't want to end the day, the week, the year exhausted and frustrated. Life is in the memories of the year, not all the tasks I got done.
What about you, any hopes for 2016?
Note—If you haven't heard of StrengthsFinder, it is a personality test. It is very interesting, and I recommend you check it out. It will give you a list of 5 "strengths" based on your responses to their online questionnaire. For Dylan and I, knowing our strengths has been very enlightening of why we do what we do. You can buy the book from most bookstores or Amazon and that includes a link in the back to access the online questionnaire on their website.