This season of life has been incredibly busy. Sure, it could be busier but I'm thankful it isn't. One thing I think Megan and I are intentional at is trying to build some margin when it comes to extracurricular stuff outside of work.
But it's been incredibly busy.
In April, I got into a nice cozy routine of getting up around 5:15ish, reading a book, catching up on work and truly getting a head start onto my day. Our infant was sleeping until around 7/7:30am, so it gave us both plenty of time to do what we needed to do in the mornings before attending to her. It was great. I felt focused at work, ahead of the game and truly looked forward to my quiet times in the morning.
Then Campbell started getting up earlier and cutting into that morning productive time. I also had an incredibly busy season at work. Once it started to let up, more projects would hit. Once I felt like I was starting to catch up and break even again, we'd have something hit at home (like Campbell's multiple double ear infections, thinking she had pink eye, etc). Then we had a lot of things break down and need replacing around the house all at once. Then, just this last week, all three of us were sick. It was fun.
In the last month or two, I haven't felt like I've been able to pursue extracurricular learning like I used to. Blogging has slowed down a LOT for me and my slower pace of reading made me feel behind on what is going on in the world. When I did have a few free moments, just wanted to use that time to close my eyes and enjoy some calm instead of reading.
All that said, the point of this isn't to complain.
Life just happens. I'm sure everyone reading this has had similar seasons of life where the treadmill seems to keep increasing pace.
I was feeling guilty like I wasn't going over and beyond. That I wasn't pursuing the latest and greatest with all my free time like I used to. I had been doing a good job drawing boundaries with taking on new projects at work but it didn't feel great. I felt like I was just getting by - but somehow barely breaking even on work felt like it took more effort than going over and beyond had in the past.
Then I remembered something that Jon Acuff mentioned in the past: hustle has seasons.
Work looks different at different times of life. Megan and I are raising a new human, which affects your energy level at work. We've faced commuting challenges with daycare, road closures and making appointments to get things done around our house. Sometimes the fact that we aren't behind on tasks and projects is a huge accomplishment.
This season of just trying to stay afloat is only temporary for us. Projects will slow down a bit at work. Appliances will eventually stop breaking down at our house. Campbell will grow and be a little more independent than she is now.
Some people have seasons where being effective is being able to take on a lot of projects, spending spare time studying and learning new things and really getting ahead of the game. I'm sure I'll be back there soon. Some seasons look like ours does right now. And, depending on what you're going through, just the act of getting out of bed that morning could be an act of hustle and courage.
Sometimes just surviving is thriving. It's not a defeatist mindset. It's just the ability to give yourself grace in certain seasons of life when that's all you can do. It's also encouragement that it's temporary and that you should have a roadmap for things to change soon.
What about you? How has your mindset toward hustle and work changed seasonally for you?