I don’t have a routine. Or a “normal week”. Ever. I don’t get up to write at 5AM like some writers do…unless I procrastinate and thus, have no choice. And I don’t keep my calendar consistent, as in mornings are for this and afternoons are for this.
Some days, I feel accomplished and unstoppable. Some days, I’m googling the internet for “how to get out of a funk.” I track my moods in an app, because I’m moody and I want proof. Once, I bought a fifty- dollar PDF, saw an astrologer, and clocked two new journals all because my heart was broken by someone I knew would break it the week I met him. I’ll take a nap in the middle of the day because I stayed up too late at a Tuesday night concert. I will write an entire biting email because DUH I SENT YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED IN THE EMAIL ABOVE, and then erase the entire thing because I realize being right is different than saying you’re right. My newsletters have typos. I cry when I don’t get the attention I felt I wanted. I twirl my hair more than my self-perceived sophistication would like to admit. I have to intentionally remind myself (often) to go with the flow. I forget to open my mail, and RSVP to weddings on time. I always bitch about baby showers. I ignore my inbox on purpose because I don’t want to deal. I avoid people. I wear hats because I’m too lazy to do my hair. I have zero qualms about eating peanut butter for dinner.
And yet it all feels OK. I feel OK, except for when I’m on the receiving end of people trying to tell me how to be more OK. How to “adult”. And be put together. And efficient.
Because somehow despite all of the not so put together, I still manage to do what matters most. And to do a lot of it. I know how to listen. Asking questions is important to me. I write nightly in my gratitude journal. I’m more proud of my work than ever before and I’m making more money than ever doing it. I feel the flow of producing pages and pages of words. Of books. Two this year. I can rock a stage for an hour straight with no notes and make people laugh and maybe only lose their attention for like 3 of the minutes, which I consider a win. I call my parents and my siblings regularly. I FaceTime with my friends. I bring women together every week. I manage a team building a dream. I meditate – like I actually meditate – and would I be a real meditator if I didn’t tell you that I meditate? I’m perfectly OK admitting my work on this planet is the most important thing to me outside of the love and connection in my life. Oh, and I always make my bed.
Life for me is always messy all the time. But god damn to I love the mess I’m in. Which is funny, because I wrote that directive once many years ago and it’s a little like past me reminding today me that life can be messy and still work. Moods can be all over the place and still be net positive. Work can be wildly unpredictable and still be stable. Routines can be routine-less and still be productive. I want the kind of life that feels like you can sink into the couch and never leave, not one that feels likes it’s part of an architectural digest photo shoot, where sitting on the furniture is not allowed.
I was reminded of all of this last night in my weekly circle of women – that it’s powerful when you eliminate the word “should” from your vocab. Entirely. Should make your life less of a mess. Should get up earlier. Should write more. Should call them back. Should go through the mail. Should create that proposal. Should journal. Should do the dishes. Should be more productive. Should say no. Should be less emotional.
What if you stopped trying to clean the mess of your life and instead started to live it? To love it? To realize that what works for you might be that mess exactly. The mess that’s SO not put together. Maybe what works for you isn’t the lack of a mess but rather doing more of what actually matters to you. I’m never going to pick organizing my closet over a night with the girls. I’m not going to schedule my week out every Sunday night at the risk of being inflexible. I’m not going to use a fancy budgeting system. I’m not going to cart around a ergonomic computer set up, eve though I have typing elbow (made it up). I know I’m not going to be the girl that has it all together, but yet that is exactly what feels like together to me. Because it is me. Highly expressive, full of life, gunning for achievement…but not predictable or routine or flawless by any means.
If you feel like you don’t have it all together, trying living that instead making your life about the ever constant fixing of that.