What the hell is productivity, anyway?


I have been pretty on top of things this week, and feel pretty good about the housework, and whatever yard work I was able to do. I even feel good about everything I was able to get done all week at work. One might even say I have been “productive”.

Why then do I constantly feel that it’s not enough?

I had the lovely opportunity to spend several hours catching up with my cousin this morning. She’s pretty awesome, not only because she’s super smart and a lot of fun, but she gets it.

What’s it? Several things, actually. All of the things women our age deal with, and she and her BFF have even written a book about it. More to come about that later.

The thing weighing on my heart at this moment is that Society likes to feed us a constant stream of bullshit which supports the idea that if you aren’t “productive” you are falling behind, or somehow less worthy. We are constantly asked to chug this bitter Kool-Aid and declare it delicious, even though it’s clearly poison.

House and yard must be kept just thus and so, because we need to blend in. Even if you have done a whole lot of work, it’s never all done, and at some point you need to rest your body, mind, and soul. What?! Stop whining and get back to work. Too much to be done to be lallygagging.

“Productivity” seems to be one of the over arching things that Society needs from us, and we aren’t to have needs of our own. Gods forbid we have a complaint about something either. Suck it up buttercup, there’s work to be done.

What the hell is with that, anyway? What really is productivity? I’m changing my ideas about what that means in my life.

Upon arriving home from visiting with my cousin I immediately felt guilty for not having got some laundry going before I left the house, so I could feel like I was “getting something done” while I was out having a good time. What happened here is that I allowed myself to fall back into the societal cookie cutter of constantly needing to be productive. It’s a bad reflexive habit, and I need to knock that shit off.

Here’s what productivity in my world really should look like:

I get to have as much time as I want, or need, with friends and family guilt free. It’s time well spent, strengthening bonds with people who matter, and is good food for the soul.

I get to hang out in my home, doing things as I see fit, when I have the time, without feeling guilty that I can’t ever get all of the things done.

I. Get. To.

Done.

I don’t fit into the cookie cutter very well, and the older I get the angrier I become with Society’s need for us all to fit into this arbitrary construct called “productivity”, especially when I find myself capitulating out of habit.

Do I sound like I’ve got my ire up about allowing myself to feel guilty for no purposeful reason? You betcha. I’m mad as hell and I’m going to make a practice of not taking it any more. Trust me, it takes practice. When you fall down, or if someone pushes you down, in the process of getting to know who you are and what you want, get up and try again.

Faithful Readers, make your own Kool-Aid. Give yourself space to feel and do what you want, and you can tell others to get stuffed if they don’t like it. Break that old tape playing in your head and write a new song.

My fondest wish for you all today is that you give yourself the space to feed your soul as you see fit, without guilt, and without thought or worry that you aren’t getting enough done. You are enough, regardless of the things you do or not. Blessings all!

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