I used to find myself dreamily thinking about being “done” with some project or period in my life and then — finally, finally — having space and time for all the other things I wanted to be doing.
Sometimes it wasn’t dreamy thinking, it was urgent.
When I’m done settling into our new city…
When I’m done redesigning this site…
When I’m done being pregnant…
When I’m done, then I will…
The possibilities were endless.
Start my morning meditation practice again.
Go to yoga 4 times a week.
Rewrite my manifesto, retool my signature course, start blogging again.
Purchase the proper size bras.
Commit to eating unprocessed foods.
Have more creative morning sex.
All things I was craving.
All things I wasn’t choosing.
Instead I was waiting to be done.
Waiting to be finished with the challenges on my plate before I took on new ones because I wanted a definitive line drawn in the sand. I wanted to check off the boxes of “I have moved” and “My website is 100% functional and perfect” and “My boobs have returned to their pre-baby size” before diving into my desires.
I wanted to brush my hands clean of my current period of messiness and transition before I added new bits of magic.
I didn’t want to poison my “future best self” with remnants of the previous, less enlightened, more harried, slightly frazzled, in-desperate-need-of-some-hair-color, current version of myself.
I wanted my clean slate, damn it.
And then one day — the earth-shaking, yet simplistic truth revealed itself to me.
In the midst of another move, and more business change, and getting up in the middle of the night to soothe and feed a tiny human, and trying to make new friends again, and working with more clients than I’d ever had with less time than before — I realized I would never be done.
I would never be done.
We are never done.
I may have cried a bit in exhaustion, but my heart lifted with the understanding that this is what it means to be a human with a messy, thriving, beautifully full life.
There will never be a period of everything in its proper place: the family perfectly nourished, the emails all answered, the fridge stocked, the house cleaned, the friends soulfully caught up with, the self-care batting 100%, the messiness thwarted, the tiredness conquered, the daily beauty revelled.
Such a place of “done” doesn’t exist for me.
I finally understood what this quote meant through the lens of my life.
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” –Alfred D’Souza
When I look at my life as a series of adventures, of fullness, of shifting priorities as things come and go — I realize that done is a mythical unicorn. Magical and elusive, but not reality. And for gods sake — what would I actually do with a unicorn? If I am ever truly “done” I’ll either be bored out of my mind or dead.
So, what do I do with all my desires?
I find a way to give my cravings life within my current reality or I release them.
If I want to do something and feel too busy/stressed/tapped/overwhelmed, I need to do it (insert magical word!) anyway.
I need to go to yoga anyway. Have more crazy morning sex anyway. Buy the bras, sit in meditation, rewrite my manifesta anyway. I need to respond to emails, start writing blogs, revive my newsletter anyway.
Not when I’ve hit a mystical place of space and time.
Do it now.
In spite of everything else.
There is no done and there are no perfect conditions. And that’s okay.
I have my ideal rituals and things that make it easier, but it’s better to do something than nothing. I will now run to the coffee shop for 35 minutes to write, instead of insisting that I need three hours. I will go to yoga earlier or later than normal because it isn’t going to happen otherwise. I just bought one bra that fits properly instead of investing in an entirely new lingerire wardrobe.
If we’re constantly waiting for things to be ideal before we can start, we are going to be waiting a very long time.
Life is an overlapping experience.
There are not a lot of truly clean slates or fresh starts or lines drawn in the sand.
Today is the day to start anything. To do the work. To make the choice.
Today is the day to prioritize your desires.
Today is the day to stop planning to begin, and simply begin.
We are never done.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
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