Ever slept in, rolled to your desk waaay past routine start time and still struggled getting in a work groove? Not because you’re over your job or ready to call it quits. More like, I’m not fcn feeling this today.
Like. Your whole body just revolts against the very invention of work?
I know, I know, this is anathema to my American friends. This is afterall, a culture where people begin conversations with, So. What Do You Do? This is also a culture that commodifies and celebrates work—from little kids hustling cookies and lemonade, to turning popular sport into a money machine, to getting regular folks with full time regular jobs bent out of shape if their hobbies don’t convert into $120k/year side hustles.
Capitalism tells you early and often that your worth is tied to your work.
And since capitalism is maybe America’s most potent export—more pervasive even, than Hollywood and Hip Hop combined—so many of us grew up with a dangerous conflation of our worth with our productivity and measuring a “a good” day by the number of hours we clocked in.
Until your body has an allergic reaction to work. Like me recently.
It’s really funny tracking myself when I feel this. Because for one thing, I come from such a different world orientation. Long before encountering Tricia Hersey’s powerful Nap Ministry, the African culture I was raised in told me my worth came from my place and contribution to community.
But your gurl’s ambitious AF. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I embraced all that African wisdom, but I also navigated an entirely different cosmos and worldview at school, where I was trained to achieve, to master my to-do list and keep diligent count of the clock.
And the real truth is, I’m not even mad about that. Some of the habits I’ve picked up around getting work done and minding my goals are healthy. I like that I’m ambitious and I love being productive when it’s a genuine offering of my gifts.
I’m also deeply hungry for a life centered around more than work.
And do my damndest to remove worth from work. Which means feeling whole regardless of my productivity. Which means going with the flow whenever I can. Honoring days when I can’t be bothered to clock in. And understanding the adventure of life has be far more meaningful than what I can find on any screen.
Tricia Hersey grounds her criticism of our grind culture in capitalism, which has its roots on slave labour camps which commodified human labour. It’s chilling when you understand the throughline between how humans were reduced to their slave labour and how we’ve internalized the worth of our lives with the work our lives can produce.
I don’t need to tell you this slave labour is the economic backbone of how America was built. And at the heart of white supremacy’s best export–capitalism.
I can remind you that you’re not obligated to carry a broken system forward.
- How do you know you’re living a life you love, outside what you do?
- How can today be an adventure completely unplugged from your screens?
- How can you embrace your ambition without sacrificing your body?
Highly recommend checking out Tricia’s book, Rest Is Resistance. Or dipping your toes in by listening to this 🔥💣 conversation with Glennon Doyle.
Playing Hooky Hugs,