Three Things I’m Doing Differently This Year

I’m recognizing that time off of paid work is not the same as rest.

Three Things I’m Doing Differently This Year
Photo by Moritz Knöringer / Unsplash

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I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions that are usually forgotten about after a few weeks. So instead, I’m using this moment to highlight for myself things that I’m already bringing into 2023. Some of these changes have taken years of work to get to. Some have taken years of undoing toxic ways of thinking. We rarely change anything about ourselves overnight, so I’m highlighting some themes I’m in process with rather than falling into the trap of lofty and/or unachievable personal mandates. So here we go.

  1. I’m recognizing that time off of paid work is not the same as rest. I had a wild December. I planned a milestone birthday party for my husband in a different city, I traveled (and packed and logistic-ized) a trip for our whole family to Florida. I handled all holiday gifts for kids and Grandparents. I attended an out of town, full-throttle professional gathering for 4 days. 30 hours after I returned from said gathering, the twins started vomiting all night the stomach bug is continuing to crawl through the entire family several days later. I may have only opened the computer once during the second half of December, but I did not rest. I may have taken two weeks off sending this newsletter but I did not recharge. I may have gotten so much out of my month of excitement but I know I need to refuel. This year one of the first things I did once I was back at my desk was block a full day in my calendar to get a massage, go on a hike, and use the steam room at the gym. In the past I would have felt I didn’t “deserve” this because I’d just voluntarily taken so much time away from work. But as I accept rest as not a “nice to have” but a non-negotiable to be the person and professional I want to be, I feel peace and clarity. (I also recognize I have a lot of professional and financial freedom to make this decision since I work for myself)
  2. I’m relishing the ability to make plans for the year. I don’t have to tell you that, for many, the last three years have been rocked by so much collective uncertainty and anxiety about the future. For the last couple of years, making plans has felt like a fool's errand. But beyond the pandemic, I’ve also been reflecting on how much personal upheaval I’ve been through in the last seven years... Getting fired from my high-profile job shortly after my first son was born, moving between three cities with a young child in tow, and my wildest personal curveball of all, having twins on the eve of the pandemic. While we can never know what’s going to happen, I’m starting the year for the first time in many, many years with a sense of personal and professional stability. Feeling my feet under me feels strange and energizing.
  3. I’m setting achievable professional goals. I’ve been a freelancer, entrepreneur and/or solopreneur in some form for the last seven years. This is the first year, ever, I’ve sat down and really planned my business for the year. This was mostly because I was always in “reacting” mode and just trying to keep my head above water. Yes, seven years in I’m very much still learning how to be a businesswoman. I’ve set professional goals for myself in the past, especially during the podcast days, but they were usually overly ambitious, unachievable and somewhat manic, so I either forgot about them or felt bad about not achieving them. This year, I actually wrote out my quarterly and topline goals on a trello board, and when I look at them I feel... calm and confident. They seem totally manageable AND I’d be really proud to achieve them. These are unfamiliar feelings! In terms of my plans, I’ll share a few tidbits. I’m thrilled I’m starting as a Care Reporting Fellow for the Better Life Lab at New America, which is a dream part-time position that combines basically all of my interests (and also pays me money!) I’m planning to launch a course about workplaces (stay tuned for more on that) and I’m planning to do more paid speaking on caregivers at work, and a course continue to grow this newsletter and community.

For this week’s members-only thread, I’ll ask Double Shifters to share not their typical “resolutions” but things they are doing differently this year. I look forward to reading your comments! Become a member so you don't miss it.

SAVE THE DATE DURHAM, NC FRIENDS! Jan 27th at 7pm Angela Garbes will be in town giving a talk on The Ethics of Now: a conversation on radicalism, justice, and mothering, through the Kenan Center for Ethics at Duke. It's at The Durham Arts Council downtown. Admission is free but first come, first serve – and The Regulator will have copies of Essential Labor there is you'd like her to sign a book. This event is open to the public, and I'll be hosting a Double Shift member hangout nearby beforehand and then I'll be attending the talk after. Members, stay tuned for details.

Making friends in Mid-Life: This Atlantic article was a wonderful dive into the challenges of making friends after the age of 21. I had no idea Bumble had a friend setting??

My new favorite cookbook is.... The Wok: Recipes and Techniques by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. My wok hasn’t even arrived, and I’ve already learned so much from this book!

I was today years old when I learned you can un-wrinkle clothing by throwing them into the dryer with ice cubes. You are welcome.

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