"How can i preserve my joy?" When I'm feeling swept up in anxiety & frustration, this question unlocks the potential of alternative timelines.
I don't usually make plans on Friday (aka farmers market eve) nights - but I hadn't had a girls night in over a month and a chef I deeply admire was open-air cooking on my favorite patio in town.
Of course, market prep/production in the kitchen was running late. I saw that I could get all my work done & only be a LITTLE late for dinner if I pushed hard, rushed, and allowed myself to show up to the event underdressed and feeling gross from a day in the kitchen (iykyk).
But... that's not the experience I was seeking that night. I was seeking comfort on a deeply uncomfy day (context: Roe v. Wade had just been overturned). I was seeking peace on a day when our collective peace received yet another onslaught, I was seeking levity, fun, and communion with friends.
Things that, even when we're busy as heck, we deserve to experience.
Instead of pushing, I paused. Everything in me was saying "get the work done now, as fast as possible," but my soul managed to take over and prioritize the things that my traditionally-capitalist programming wanted me to believe were so silly: doing my hair, doing my makeup, playing dress up.
And so, on my busiest night of the week, I made room for delicious food, a stunning setting & nourishing company. I was able to be present with every taste, view & moment.
After that, at 10:30pm, I went back to work in a killer two-piece set & heels. though the night stretched much later than I would've chosen, the work got done well. It got done with joyful ease. The only way I want to run this business.
Do i always catch myself this elegantly? Heck no. Just 48 hours later I didn't catch it and ended up needing a big cry. The breakdowns are welcome, and as much a part of the human experience as anything else. But the more I'm able to routinize this question, "how do i preserve my joy?" in the moments of anxious escalation, be they in my own head or in the world around me, the more consistently elegant it all becomes.