Can I share a secret with you?

I am writing this a little earlier than I would have you believe (that’s not the secret, just an FYI). I am 34 weeks pregnant and staring down the barrel of 7 working days left at work, with a year of maternity leave stretching out in front of me (that’s not the secret either).

The secret is this: In all my adult life, I have never not had a ‘to do’ list.

So far so boring, right?

But hustle culture is a problem. Being addicted to checking things off is kind of a problem too. Thanks to the eternal paradox of choice and that sweet, sweet dopamine hit every time you tick a box or strike a line through a list, it’s not an easy habit to kick.

I blame hustle culture for the two weeks halfway through my pregnancy I spent weeping at the thought of lacking the structure, social network and pace of work. “Who am I without my job?” I cried to my husband, who shook his head at me in disbelief.

It got better. I’m glad pregnancy gives you space for your mind to grow alongside your body during those 9 short months.

After a little dalliance reading a few pieces online - namely this, but also this and this - I want to echo the sentiment and choose doing nothing as my ‘goal’ this summer.

By the time I hit publish on this, I’ll be right at the end of my pregnancy with just days to go - and I can’t think of a better time to delete all my productivity apps, including the beloved Trello. I’ll keep a notebook for stuff I should remember - like who to send a thank you card to for baby gifts - but the day of ‘to do’ is over. Or on hold, at least, for now.

Which brings me to this space. I might use it as a way to record thoughts and experiences during my year off work. But equally I might not. I might just be, or work out how to be, without a constant stream of goals and hustles ahead of me.

I don’t want to give up goals forever. Everything has its season, right? The dawning of different days, growth after decay, harvest after hustle.

This is just the beginning of a slower season. And I’m ready.