Keep Pace

I have a sort of natural aversion to (assuredly well-meaning) advice to allow yourself to be comfortable with doing nothing.

When people say that you should practice self-care, take mental health days, and “go easy on yourself,” I’m sure that their intentions are good. I don’t like when people say things like “we’re not machines,” because of course we are. And machines break down, need repairs, need refueling, etc. We are machines, and we must perform routine maintenance. I get that.

But for some reason, all of those well-meaning pieces of advice feel like traps.

Maybe it would be good for me to do nothing for an entire day. I don’t know, because I’ve never done that and probably never will. The world keeps spinning, and I do things because there are things that need to be done.

I get enough leisure, for sure. I have hobbies, and I play with my kids, and I go for walks, etc. I’m not “grinding” every second of every day. But I don’t skip any of those important things. We work before we play.

If you do find you’re pushing yourself too hard, going beyond the limits of what your mind and body can handle, then maybe you do need cool-off periods where you skip those things. But I think that’s very unhealthy, to be quite honest. I think the healthier method is to push yourself to your absolute limit, but never over that limit, every day. To be careful with what you do while still maximizing it.

You cannot slow the spinning of the world. You should keep up. If you lag behind it will leave you behind, but if you try to run faster than the world spins, you’ll miss things. Keep pace.

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