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Today’s essay is all about the beautiful mess that is burnout. I think I’m on the other side of it but I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned.Then I sit down with Kristen Sollee, author of the March Book Club book, Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive
. I was thrilled that Kristen agreed to chat with us and answer some of the questions that have come up in our book club group. We cover a little bit of everything in this interview, including witchcraft and sex magic, Kristen’s experience as a young slut in the kink culture, and reclaiming problematic words to take away their power. Kristen also shares a little bit about the class she teaches that inspired this book and takes this feminist to school about the fourth wave of feminism.
If you’re in the Twin Cities area, join me TOMORROW! for an Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting class at ModernWell
. Get all the details and sign up at modernwell.co
Listen to this episode using the player below, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts!
In times of stress, some people indulge, myself included. Food, alcohol, shopping, sex — these are all recognizable vices. But I didn’t recognize my own indulgence until recently: Workaholism.
Leaving my PhD program was a breath of fresh air. I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. For six years I had been making up stories about my life, that being a student was holding me back. And now that I’m no longer a student, it’s time to do all the things I hadn’t had time for.
So I signed up for networking events, met up for coffee, said yes to drinks, traded coaching services. I launched a book club, started a part-time job, and joined the gym. Meanwhile my cat is old and sick and requires lots of care and medical attention. Oh yeah, we just bought a house, and we need to paint it, and half our shit is still in boxes, and the entire second floor lacks furniture.
But that’s all okay — I TOTALLY GOT THIS — I’m no longer in grad school so I have ALL the time in the world!
(Nevermind that I’d only been stressing about writing my dissertation, not actually writing it.)
Guess where this story goes next?
Crash and burn.
Yes, I can do all the things. And yes, I want to do all the things. But just because I can doesn’t mean I should.
I wanted to keep saying yes, keep squeezing things into my schedule, but at what cost?
The cost was me.
I have a bad habit of putting my head down and working myself into the ground. I truly enjoy working, but upon reflection, I draw too much worth from what I produce, what I do. Who am I without my work? It was time to find out. Workaholism is a symptom of something greater. It’s a distraction for really deep-seated pain.
I needed to remind myself to step back, that I am inherently worthy, that I am not selfish for needing time to recharge my batteries.
In fact, giving myself space is a requirement of wholehearted living. It’s not lazy, it’s nurture. We cannot tend to others or our work unless we tend to ourselves first.
So for me and for all of you, I stepped back.
I’m slowing returning, but with intention this time.