The Daily What?
The Daily Pep. One of three podcasts I’ve recently taken to listening to on a regular basis. This holy trinity of podcasts includes “Chasing Life” which comes out once a week and is 10-60 minutes on a random topic like dreaming, playing in adulthood as you did as a child, and social anxiety disorder, etc. The trio also includes the “Bachelor Happy Hour” which, as one can easily guess, is dedicated to all things Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise and comes out shortly after the show airs each week and is practically longer than the show.
The Daily Pep is, as it sounds, a daily (and brief) pep talk each Monday through Friday. It’s super convenient to listen with the few minutes I have in the car on my way somewhere each day. Today, I listened to one that was about “Never giving up or quitting.” Apparently all the episodes this week are dedicated to reframing or deconstructing some of the rules we are taught growing up and maybe being a little bit more reasonable with ourselves with regard to what we should and should not be doing with our time in order to live a happier life.
She said, “If you walked halfway across a bridge and discovered it was on fire, would you keep going?”
Of course not. So don’t kill yourself working on something that is destined to fail. Never giving up leads us to believe that we should die on our sword if we’ve committed to doing something. And hearing this, I can’t help but think of the GLR. My online literary magazine.
But, the GLR is not on fire. Far from it. It’s actually growing and thriving. The problem is that I just get so burnt out from working on it all the time and never really have a break and that makes me think about quitting. The fact of the matter at this point is that if I quit, there is no lit mag.
I don’t want to waste all the time and money I’ve invested in it thus far so what am I going to do?
I think part of my problem is that it was a neat idea and it is fun to start things and create them but now it’s just work and some days I don’t want to do it anymore. But how do I separate the feeling of wanting to quit that comes over me sometimes and actually wanting it to be done? I don’t want it to fail. I get excited by certain parts of the process and meeting people and finding joy in elevating other people’s writing. I just can’t hang on to either feeling, the positive or the negative, for very long so it is hard to tease out what I really want.
It leads me to think about other things I’ve quit recently.
You know, my garden was shit this year. I was so unmotivated to start it but eventually, I did, out of some feeling of “I love this, and I should want to.” But since I planted it, I’ve been back there all of twice to harvest veg and cut flowers. The plants are doing poorly and there are so many weeds and I don’t really care. I somehow have very easily given up on it. Quit the garden, so to speak, and it doesn’t bother me much beyond thinking it must mean that I’m depressed because depressed people are unmotivated to do the things they typically love.
I got over that depressed feeling when I went on vacation recently, and thankfully it never came back. Whatever I was feeling is gone, or just different now and I am not as concerned about it being an actual depression. But back to quitting…
I mostly quit any attempts at creative writing after that “1000 words a day” challenge I did back in June. I went to a workshop this past weekend and wrote a few sentences but it was more stream-of-consciousness stuff like this blog and not even close to being in line with the likes of poetry, or CNF. And I was OK with that too. I kind of decided it was OK to quit putting pressure on myself to write or write poems. What I am able or not able to write does not define me. If it comes back, so be it, but I can also just let it go.
What else have I quit recently? I quit trying to get 10K steps a day. My goal is now 5K and I feel much better for achieving that each day than the shit feeling I would have when I did not hit my goal. I consider that a win.
But back to the lit mag. As I said, if I quit, then the whole thing will probably fall apart. I mean, it will fall apart. I’m the mastermind beyond all the technology, communication, and decision-making. So where does that leave me on days like today when I’m daydreaming about quitting or at the very least changing the schedule to make it a tri-annual journal so we all get a scheduled few months off each year?
I’ll tell you exactly where it leaves me…. It leaves me with a strong desire to figure out a strategy to lessen the burden.
Right now, at this moment, however, I can’t think about that because there are too many things on the proverbial “to-do” list to consider. It’s the same as all the other suggestions people bring to my attention. If I’m too busy doing the work, then I can’t put energy into fundraising, book reviews, opening up to new genres, etc.
Like right-right now…. I have to go prepare for a meeting with one of our poetry readers interested in being a full editor on the team. Now that we have a vacancy as one person exits, I’ve got to figure out how best to handle that.
Fast forward a day. I feel like I’ve been able to cross a LOT of things off the TGLR to-do list in the last 24 hours and what do you know? That feeling of wanting to quit is gone.
Instead what I have is a thought that keeps repeating “It’s all gonna be alright.”
Like Bob Marley says, “Every little thing, is gonna be alright.” It’s true.
So maybe the conclusion to what started as musing over reframing a random podcast episode that was urging people to consider quitting is an even more powerful (and yet so simple) message…. Wait a day and see if your feelings change.
I know I’ve come to this conclusion before but I suppose it’s worth a reminder. It’s the same as any feeling. If you feel strongly enough, and that feeling is maintained day in and day out and never really goes away, perhaps think about some way to change the situation, whether that be coming up with an exit strategy and quitting, or finding some alternative that allows you to set it aside for a while and come back to it if you ever feel the inclination.
That really is it for now.
If you have a little time, I recommend both The Daily Pep and Chasing Life. I won’t recommend Bachelor Happy Hour because the people who would be into that already know who they are.
Peace and Love,
PS. The fish in the featured image is Bruce, my darling daughter’s beta.