My Wish For This New Year
It is Saturday morning, and I have had the luxurious pleasure of sleeping in, thanks to Brandon. Sure, I woke up at 4AM and 8AM to feed the baby, but afterwards I snoozed until 11. I woke up feeling a sense of dread and bliss. I don’t often sleep in if I’m not on vacation, and I had a big to-do list to take care of today which covered everything from folding the mountain of clothing slumped on my bedroom chair to getting some work done for my part-time job(s).
I sprang out of bed and then it hit me, as it sometimes does: I do not equal how productive I am. I am not only how much money I can make or how cool my job sounds. Sometimes, it’s okay for me to just be me, enjoying a quiet Saturday.
Since I left office life, it has become so hard to find definition in the different aspects of my life, mainly because they all happen from my kitchen table. I am a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, a writer, a freelancer, a friend, a dishwasher, a cook, all mostly from my 800 square foot apartment. So I wake up in the morning, and I do task after task after task and then suddenly, it’s 7PM. Nothing is ready for dinner and I wonder what I’ve done all day.
It’s easy to get consumed by our to-do lists, and to take on more and more and more, like I have been, all while feeling like we are doing less and less. For me, I think this stems from external appreciation of my work. When your job is in an office, you know what is expected of you. You have reviews, a salary, a raise, things that indicate that you are doing a great job or otherwise. With my life right now, all of that disappears. I mostly have to do it all myself: motivate, compliment, and push. Sure, Brandon compliments me and thanks me, but it’s different.
Many mornings I go on a morning park walk with Reva and Maui and I have made a habit of using this time for reflection. To thank the universe for all I have and ask for what I need. Never once have I asked for more free time, to meet more interesting people, to find time to go to a show. My needs are always directly tied to things we are traditionally raised to believe are the indicators of our success as individuals. Mostly, opportunities for my career and Brandon’s career and financial stability and blah blah blah. All important things, for sure, but what about the opportunity to see my dear friends more often, or to chill out for a few hours without so much guilt. Both are important, because as I have to constantly remind myself, we humans are made up of so much more than how we make money.
So, this Rosh Hashanah, I ask that I am able to not only define myself by my to-do list, and by how much I’ve taken on, but also by what I’ve taken off. I hope that I find time to go to a play, to see a concert, to get off Instagram and read a book. To pressure myself less and learn to enjoy life, just a little more. I share this because I know that so many of us young, ambitious New Yorkers are in the exact same boat. We are running around 24/7 doing doing doing and rarely stopping to analyze.
I wish all those celebrating a sweet, prosperous, and beautiful new year that is filled with love and kindness, good health, personal and professional success, and the opportunity to stop every now and again and just enjoy life as it is.