Driving home from work a few days ago, I found myself dozing off behind the wheel of my car. I sent a voice text to my husband and he immediately called, saying he would stay on the phone with me until I got to my destination – my second job. What I couldn’t admit though, was that my destination NEEDED to be my bed!
There’s this saying that many who work hard to achieve some type of goal haphazardly throw around: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” It suggests that until they reach the goal of self-actualization they’ve set for themselves, they won’t take a break. Social media constantly reinforces this idea of the “the grind,” and young entrepreneurs (I won’t say millennials because I hate how broad that box is) are particularly victims of working nonstop. It comes at us from various angles and perpetuates the idea that if you take time to rest, then you’re not doing everything you can to secure the bag.
Look! Falling asleep at the wheel of my car, swerving across the lane and hearing a car horn honk me back into reality as a result of working a 10-hour job, attempting to workout after work, coming home to study and write multi-page research papers, and staying up to watch the sunrise as I try to pencil in some writing, blogging or branding time……. is not worth ANY BAG!
I don’t care what anyone tells you. Becoming successful or making money won’t mean a thing if people have to speak about your accomplishments in past tense because you decided to never take a moment to rest. Functioning on barely 4 hours of sleep for so many consecutive days isn’t going to mean anything if I am dead and never actually fulfill the destiny assigned to me because I fell asleep at the wheel and didn’t make it.
The idea that we have to keep going and going like then Energizer Bunny is a TOXIC MENTALITY THAT WE ALL NEED TO STOP PERPETUATING….LIKE YESTERDAY! It’s just as bad as hyping women up for being “Superwoman” aka breastfeeding while running the treadmill and hosting a conference call all at the same time. IT IS NOT HEALTHY!
What’s even worse, is that people will make you feel bad for not being that type of go-getter, as if there is a one-size-fits-all costume for that. You take a mental health day from work, you get the side eye. You tell your volunteer team that you can’t make the event last minute, you get no response (which says EVERYTHING, btw). You decide to take a break from social media, and folks assume you’re not grinding (because, well…, if there’s no post about it, did it really happen?). It’s all so detrimental to one’s mental well-being to fall into the traps that these expectations create.
So here’s my resolve: I’m no longer putting off my mental and physical health for ANYBODY or ANYTHING — not for my 7-5:30 (yeah…), not for any volunteer organizations or groups, not for a business brunch, not for a 5 am workout after being up until 3 writing a paper, not to prevent myself from inconveniencing others, not to avoid your side eye for the last minute notification, not even for the mission of R.A.D.I.A.N.C.E., The P31 Collective, my next bestseller, or my Master’s degree. Because what good would I be to the members in my programs, the students in my classroom, the customer’s I service as a volunteer, the destiny God has placed on my life, IF…I…AM…DEAD???
So if sleep is for suckers, I’ll be a whole bag of Toosie pops, Blow pops and Dum Dums if it means I’ll actually be healthy, present and productive. Y’all can keep the toxicity of the grind — I’m good love, enjoy!