100 Hard Things – Week 1

Let me start by saying that I sure do regret committing publicly to doing 100 Hard Things.  I feel like I drunk texted something stupid in the middle of the night that I wish I could take back.

The past two years were HARD.  Why in the world did I commit to doing 100 MORE hard things.  WTF!!!  What happened to my motto for 2022…. “Just Be”.  That was a great plan!

I also feel like I underplayed the mental health component of why things are hard.

There have been many low points emotionally for me this past year.  Depression and anxiety run in my family (yay us!).  The dark moods have always swooped in from time to time and I am pretty good at pulling myself up when I am low, but for many years I had the help of a therapist.  I am now riding solo, sans therapist, and between the changes in my life and the turmoil in the world there have been more lows and it has been harder to pull myself out of them.

A few people this week (and time away from social media) reminded me that the general vibe of the world is depressed and anxious right now.  Lots and lots of people are stuck, or sick, or suffering, or just trying to survive.  Some people are thriving (and those are the people who are generally showing up in my social media feed) so it’s easy to forget about the sad people who are not sharing that they are sad.  (To anyone who is reading this right now and feeling sad…I see you and I am sending you a hug!)

It happens to be Mental Health Awareness month, so it feels especially important to point out that it’s not always easy as just “deciding to do hard things” to get unstuck.

When I was in therapy, my therapist (or I) would often suggest that I should do something, and then I would usually do it so I didn’t have to go back in there and explain why I didn’t do it.  And, I would usually feel better when I did the thing.  So, instead of trying to find a new therapist, I figured why not just create an accountability project for myself?  It will force me to do things that will make me feel better and I don’t have to go back to therapy.

I am basically conducting a huge cognitive behavioral therapy experiment on myself.

Will it work?  Don’t know.  But if it doesn’t work and I am still stuck or sad, it does not mean we are all screwed.  It just means life is hard.  So, let’s take that pressure off (that I put on myself) as I continue to embark on this journey.  (Because I can’t quit after just one week, as much as I would like to make up some excuse about self-care and not pushing myself too hard so I can “just be”)

All of that being said, I did do quite a few hard things this week!

    1. I just completed a Media Deprivation Week. No social media, no TV, no news, no podcasts, no reading (unless absolutely necessary, like to help your Dad figure out what’s wrong with his phone), no music for 7 days. It was not as hard as I thought it would be given how much media I’ve been consuming lately.   My brain is quieter.  I did miss TV.  Evenings at home alone with no TV are tough!  It’s my first day back and opening it all up feels like walking into the sun after being in a dark cave for a long time – overwhelming.  Moderation is in order. (Highly recommend taking a media break!)
    2. I joined a networking Zoom with some other Web Designers. My initial reaction when I saw the invite was, ”I don’t feel like it. I would have to take shower and put on makeup and talk to strangers” but #hardthings so I got clean and made up and got on the Zoom and was glad I did.  I got some good insights and industry intel and did just fine talking to strangers.
    3. I had a Zoom with a travel friend who reached out to offer some help with my business. Instead of saying, “Thanks, I’ll let you know” and then not following up (my usually M.O.)  I said, “Thanks! Let’s chat this week and catch up!”  And we did! Go me!
    4. I had lunch with my neighbor/Astrologer/new friend. The lunch was lovely (and not hard) but sending the email to say “Hello, Let’s have lunch even though we met once last year, and you might not remember who I am” (which is NOT exactly what I said, and she did remember me) was kind of hard.  So, I am counting it!
    5. I went to a protest/march by myself. This was BY FAR the hardest thing I did this week.  I battled with myself all week about this because I hate crowds and yelling BUT reproductive rights are important and showing up to try to make the world better is important.  I tried to wrangle friends, but no one could make it, so went solo.  It felt great to push through the excuses and walk across the bridge with thousands of fellow New Yorkers.  I just walked quietly with no yelling.  (AND I definitely had the best sign there. Making the sign is my favorite part of protesting!)
    6. I wrote this blog post and got a little vulnerable!

So, there you go.  Six hard things in one week.  Not CRAZY hard stuff but all things I probably would have blown off if I wasn’t making a concerted effort to do more hard things, which is exactly the point!!!!!!!!!!!! (And doing them DID make me feel better.)

If you are feeling stuck or sad and did anything hard this past week.  Kudos to you!!  (It’s also OK if you didn’t.  Sometimes just getting through the week is enough.)

PS: Someone did tell me that I inspired them to apply for a new job last week, so this “drunk text” idea that I kinda regret is already a HUGE success!

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