Freelancing for me has been the fuel for beginning a new life.
I walked away from a draining corporate career and the poor eating, spending, sleeping, social, and emotional habits that came along with it. The last five years for me have been an exercise in rebuilding — aside from a few, well-curated core relationships — pretty much everything in my life. It’s been hard, humbling (the real, painful kind), and worth it.
I’m looking back though, and seeing how much of that rebuilding has been based on small, simple changes.
I developed a regular exercise habit by jumping rope just 20 seconds each morning. I dropped 40lbs by adding just one serving of plant matter to each meal (well, that and getting out of an abusive employment situation.) I’m planning on upping my reading game by reading classic Black literature from around the world, one author at a time (If you’ve got suggestions…drop em in the comments!)
If there’s anything freelancing has hammered into my head, is that small habits compound in big ways. It’s also taught me that keeping the energy to maintain those habits starts with my morning.
On days when I get my “firsts” right, everything flows better. Here’s what I mean.
The first thing I do is breathe consciously.
The first being I talk to is God.
The first activity I engage in is exercise/stretching.
The first thing I clean is myself.
The first thing I eat is green.
The first thing I drink is water.
After that, all those Shoulds — you should eat cleaner (again…what does that even mean?), you should move more, you should be nicer, you should relax — take less work and will power. I will be the first to admit though, that I don’t know if I could do any of that if I were still employed.
I woke up this morning looking at a calm, enjoyable Monday ahead of me…and it made me anxious. I sat in that feeling for a while and just accepted the fact that I’ve been deeply conditioned to expect stress on Mondays, and that two years of freelancing won’t undo 30+ years of programming. I am though, thankful to be able to go through the process.