I opened up a book today and before I even got past the introduction, I highlighted a quote that spoke to me: “The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.” –Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness, 1932 as quoted in Do Nothing: How to Break Away From Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving.
Last year when I went for my annual checkup, my doctor (who is the greatest primary care doctor I’ve ever had. Text me, I’ll give you her name) told me she could tell I was stressed. My face was breaking out. My thyroid levels were all over the place. She asked me what I was doing. I told her about my full-time job, graduate school, and freelance writing. I had just sold a piece to Self magazine and wanted more of that!
Without telling me what to do or what not to do, she asked what I could do to manage stress. Now since graduating from therapy years ago, I feel like a person who manages pressures pretty well. I make it a point to close my laptop no later than 8:30 p.m. (I’m getting close here!) and spend some time quietly and mindfully unwinding for the day. I was stressed to learn I was too stressed and needed to do something about my stress.
But as I thought about it, I figured there was no need to stress myself out freelance writing. Yes, I love it and it brings me joy. But I had a full-time job that paid well. I didn’t need a side hustle to earn extra cash. I had also committed to 15 hours a week doing grad school work, so I wasn’t in dire need of a hobby.
Now that I’m done with school, though, I’ve found writing to be therapeutic for me again. As I read that sentence today, I wondered what it would be like to just do it for me–and not worry about selling articles. That could come. Or not.
This blog was always for me first. If anyone else read it and felt better about something, that’s was a wonderful side effect that made me happy. But ultimately, even if no one read it, I would still want to write it.