Grinding Away My Days …

and my sanity.
I kid. I joke. I hyperbole.
Mostly.

The truth is, I have taken on a lot.
I mean, a lot.
Like, way too much for any one person to try to manage alone. But, if I can see that, then why am I plodding along? Ah, yes. I’m also a proud and stubborn woman, unwilling to give up on something I really want.

You see, for the first time in my life, I actually want something. Truly, desperately, with all my passion and desire, I want this side-hustle venture of mine to succeed. And, short of my childhood aspirations that were crushed under the weight of parental disapproval and economic adversity, I’ve never wanted anything else like this in my life.


I mean, not tangible things.
We’ve all wanted things like love and happiness, etc. Maybe a skosh of spiritual enlightenment or mastery over some subject. Vague fantasies about a dreamy home life, with a family, including pets, and vacations to some distant places, all fancy … or kitschy.


But, most people I’ve met have also wanted things. Things to have. Things to do. Things to be.
Not me. Not until now. And, yes, of course, I am talking about the same aspirations held by my retrospectively sad childhood self.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to launch into a tirade about my parents, nor the soul-crushing limitations of a life of poverty and otherness. No, no. I have a much bigger fish to fry.

ME.


It’s me I must conquer in these early, fledgling steps of a side-hustler, beginning with my anxiety. Full disclosure: yes, I am in therapy for it and blessedly medicated. I resisted forever; it just isn’t what we do in my culture. But, it had gotten to the point where I had to decide if I was going to face it or just let it break me. I choose to think I had the courage to face it by getting help.

And, now? Well, now I can see that the biggest immediate hurdle over which I have any control is my own penchant for wasting away in a state of analysis paralysis. Go ahead and visualize me lying upon a fainting couch, my dainty hand resting delicately upon my brow. Then add a bag of veggie chips clutched in my other hand, a pot of coffee brewing in the background, and what might be (it definitely is) chocolate lightly smeared across my chin.

You see, I am an excellent list maker. I can take goals and break them down into their logical components, organize them by order of importance and/or achievability, color code them, schedule them, and have a beautiful, handy dandy chart ready to admire. But … doing the things? What if I focus on this thing when I should be focusing on that thing? This looks reasonable but what if ….

Hell is a constant state of what-if.

Along with my inability to gauge the time it takes for me to complete my tasks (see my Daily 27 post), my biggest, fattest stumbling block is my own constant what-ifing. Considering that I’m juggling my primary work-work career/business and my dream vocation side-hustle, not to mention this personal-blog-for-my-mental-health-open-journal project, I’m coming face to face with my Time and What-If demons every day.

We’ll just call them Chronabub and Whifeus, k?

So, I made a flow chart about it. Here is the best conversation I’ve managed to have with myself when I find myself slipping into analysis paralysis and feeling Time itself evaporate around me at an even faster rate than it normally does.

And, guess what?
It’s working.
I can, if I force myself to let go, actually be present in the moment.
If I’m work-working, then that’s what I’m doing. If I’m side-hustling, then that’s what I’m doing.
Maybe it doesn’t sound like a huge step for some people—you can look up the psychology of being able to switch tasks quickly and effectively—but it is for me. I just had to frame this monster in terms of my anxiety stemming from the miasma of poverty consciousness I was reared in.
But, now?
Now I can see it.
And, once you can look at something that used to terrify you dead in the eye, you have begun to defeat it.

One day, I hope, I’ll share a flow chart for outlining my successful conversation with myself regarding Time. Ah, that cagey creature. That master of our lives. That relative fraud …

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