These days, more often than not, I get to the end of a day feeling like the day ran me, not the other way around.
The digital clock on my phone clicks to 10:47 pm; I do a double take, and then I throw myself on my bed. Remaining moments tick away as I open my Instagram feed or respond to an email. Last night, I spent the last minutes of the day scheduling an appointment to repair the crack in my windshield. And I fell asleep feeling…accomplished, I guess? Or was it agitated?
My mind has the ability to ruthlessly grind in metrics, to-do lists, and chores.
As I reach for the covers each evening, more often than not, I tell myself I’ll wake up early to do the things I didn’t do today. More often than not, I don’t.
For me, it’s the soul things that don’t get done. The things that flourish in quiet spaces.
There just isn’t time to write for self. There isn’t time to read. There isn’t time to make the world beautiful, or to notice the ways in which the world already is.
I’ve heard about this grind before, and how powerful it can get. I wonder if it’s tied to the season of life we reach once we pass “establishing adulthood.” I myself am gaining a working knowledge that this season is a little less shiny and a little less new than the one that preceded it.
I don’t mean to sound like a pessimist. I think dreams are reachable and relationships are life’s great goodness. I think each day is God’s invitation to bring light to dark places, and I think good ultimately wins in the world.
But I also think those things take a lot longer to achieve than I once thought they did. I think the journey involves more pain, more listening, more mistakes and missteps than I once thought it did.
My day-to-day “calling” doesn’t seem particularly glamorous or inspiring. And it’s fraught with trade-offs.
I can journal or I can have a clean kitchen.
I can volunteer for a cause that matters or I can be present for a friend I love.
I can attend yet another church (or “not a church”) function or I can lean into my own confusion about where I fit in the church’s story.
I can go for a run or I can notice my jeans don’t fit like they once did, take a deep, brave breath and ask my boyfriend about his day instead.
Of course life isn’t a 1:1 exchange of all those trade-offs, but I do know this: I can’t always do them all. And I write this from a space filled with more choices than many of my friends, who add to their to-do list the rigors of motherhood. I lift my morning cup of coffee to you ladies, champions and warriors all of you.
Sometimes, when I don’t know what choice to make and when I fear nothing I do matters, quantifying my life with metrics becomes a cheap substitute for resting in my worth and being present to this moment. I look at social media more, and I lean towards easy tasks that I can check off a list.
I don’t know that there is a final cure for that response. But more often than not, my heart is really wanting to just rest in worthiness and presence.
That’s the invitation for this fully adult season.
What about you? Where do you turn to bring affirmation or validation to your self on the doubt-filled days? And who would you be if you believed that who you are, as you are is enough? What dreams might you realize by striving less and showing up more?
Katy Johnson lives, dreams, writes, and edits in a messy, watercolored world. She’s a 29 year old, discovering her hope, her longings, and the wild spaces in her own heart. Her favorite creative project right now is called Will I Break?, and someday, that manuscript may see the light of day. For now, she shares her thoughts here.