I am the COO of a non-profit called The Lady Project. Our mission is to connect, inspire, and showcase remarkable women. We’ve been going on for well over six years. We have chapters in 15 cities across this country. And at the end of this year, we are sunsetting. It was a hard decision to make, but we knew it was the best course of action. Ever since we announced our sunsetting, people have asked me what I am doing next. “So what is your next project?” “Are you going to start a new thing?” The short answer to that is OH GOD NO. The slightly longer answer is what I am currently doing is more than enough.
First off, I am a photographer. You already knew that. I also am a co-founder of The Branding Edit, where we help small business owners craft their brand story visually. I am on the executive board for RI NOW, the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women. In my personal life, I recently moved in with my boyfriend, and I have turned into my own personal HGTV show. I already have plenty on my plate. Why would I want to add on more?
I recently told an overwhelmed friend there is a person out there with 12 responsibilities and they just took on a 13th and they are ok with that. There is another person out there who has one responsibility, and that is all they can handle. Both of those situations are A-OK. We live in a culture when we are supposed to be able to handle it all, at once, and look good while doing it. People are getting overworked spreading themselves way too thin, and they are blaming themselves when they eventually crack.
My friends and I are professionals at doing the absolute most. All it takes is for one person to give us an idea, and we will run to the hills with it. Oh, we should have a workshop for crafters and makers? Ok, let's do it two weeks from now. Let's beat ourselves into submission trying to write a whole new class plus market it on social media plus find a location to have the workshop plus oh hey, did you eat anything today plus oh my god, we haven't sold enough tickets plus this is an excellent time to have an existential crisis. I’m sure I am not the only person who has felt like this.
Instead, why not write the idea down or put it in your Asana future projects list and revisit it when you have the time? Or, not do it at all. Not all things are worth pursuing, and I shouldn't beat up on myself when I don't have the bandwidth for anything more. When people asked me what I was going to do next, at first, I thought "wait, should I be planning something?" I quickly realized that everything I am doing right now at this moment is enough. I don't need an excuse. I don't need to say "well, maybe down the line I will do something else." Where I am and what I am doing right now is excellent, and later on, if I want to do something new, that will be cool too. But I am just fine where I am right now.