I Can’t Relate
It’s so freakin hard making friends as adults. Right? Is it just me?
I’d heard great things about a book on how to make friends when you’re all grown up, and I checked it out from my library.
You might resonate with this book, so I’ll link to it here. Spoiler alert: The author lives in the Bay Area. And in the introduction, talks about the dozens of meetups, potlucks, and events she gets invited to every weekend.
Cool for you, but I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We don’t have a dozen of anything around here. Except donuts. Because: Smaller town, midwest. So if you have trouble making friends in the Bay Area, what hope do I have?
I’m going to finish reading the book, because that’s my personality, but my skepticism is high and the author’s credibility has sunk.
In fact, two of the most popular people in the online course and coaching space (where I spend a lot of time) pride themselves on being (1) lazy or (2) highly productive. They also don’t have children.
Neither of these modes of living are possible when you have children or aging family members to attend to.
I can’t be lazy when I have to pull in all the income for my household while helping my teen navigate his first experience in the job market and helping my grandma get her CBD pain relief sorted out.
I also can’t be highly productive at work for the exact same reasons.
It’s gotten difficult for me to hear advice about how to Do Life from people who have the ability to solely focus on work, instead of being split in a bazillion directions by all of life’s duties.
A realistic work day.
My reality is that I have to work (so, good thing I like it). And I have to be extremely thoughtful about how I work because my time is at a premium. And that’s the part we don’t talk enough about.
Realistically, I can only tackle 1 or 2 big things in a work day. Then my brain has quit and my kid is calling for me. I can sneak in a handful of smaller things around the edges but it isn’t honest or true to add more to my to do list or calendar.
In fact, seeing items on my to do list still there a week later only causes me more stress and pressure. That I brought upon myself. And that, my friend, is a bad mix for mental health.
Your schedule and productivity won’t look like someone who is kidless and carefree. Someone who doesn’t have elders to care for. Someone who doesn’t struggle with being neurodiverse. Someone who’s position in life makes it easy to fly to Costa Rica for a weekend spa trip.
Life is hard and I want to listen to people who acknowledge that.
I think that’s why this is my new favorite Instagrammer.
So my advice is to get honest with yourself about how much you can actually accomplish in a day. And then be ok with that.
Also – and this is a hard one for me to do – it’s ok to get help. Help can look like swapping childcare with another entrepreneurial friend so you both get some solid, quiet blocks of time. Help can look like hiring a personal assistant for a few hours a week so you can focus instead of prepping meals.
When I started my first business, I was so young and energetic and trying to do everything without monitoring my energy levels. In case you didn’t know, that’s a quick way to burnout.
I went to a gathering of other small business owners and beelined to a circle talking specifically about work-life balance. Right as we were being shushed to turn our attention to the main event, I whispered to my circle leader “Hey, I think I need help. Like, is it ok to hire someone to clean my house?”
I felt so weird asking that question. My roots are real humble and this seemed like a majorly bougie move.
She whispered back, “I have three kids. My housekeeper comes twice a week.”
I’ll never forget the relief she gifted me with those two sentences.
It still took me a while to get over my mindset stuff and realize that I could afford the housekeeper and then some if I was able to spend a little more time on cool work projects.
Point is, you don’t have to do everything. In fact, you physically (and emotionally and energetically) can’t do everything.
So choose what you work on carefully.
Go for high-yield projects.
Get help where you can.
Try not to compare your progress to other people you see online. That dude who somehow whips out a new book each year? Who’s feeding his children? How much time does he spend with his partner? When’s the last time he hung out with friends? (Does he have friends?)
I know you know it but I’m going to tell you anyway: Comparison is the thief of joy.
Which also means: filter where you get your advice. Listen to coaches who get where you’re coming from.
On that note, help me out here. Who are you listening to for business advice – and is actually relatable? Shoot me an email with a link to their social.
Or are you trying to navigate without a guide? If so, check out Boost & Bloom. Enrollment opens again in Feb. And in the meantime, email me and I’ll tell you who other people are listening to.