work sucks sometimes
Tell me if you ever relate to this: work suckssss sometimes.
Lately, it has been really hard for me to find motivation to do my administrative work, follow up on emails, send out newsletters and publish blog posts. Basically, all of my computer work has fallen to the wayside as I focus on seeing clients.
I have had many conversations with non-therapists who think that the one-on-one therapeutic work would be the hardest part about my job. Nope - the hardest part is literally emails and case notes and website stuff.
At least I’m not alone. On one of my favourite podcasts, Ologies, host Alie Ward interviews various scientists and researchers. She asks them what they love about their work and always towards the end of the interview, she asks them what sucks. More often than not, the answer is emails or tedious administrative work.
Whenever I think that I am “failing” because these tasks feel hard, I remember these interviews. Even these incredibly cool and dedicated people find that work sucks sometimes. I remind myself that answering an email 3 days after receipt only feels like “failing” because our culture lionizes overwork and unsustainable productivity.
I’ve been talking about this a lot recently with my friend and colleague Ashleigh Eaton. Ashleigh, like me, often feels the pressure to always be “on”. Both of us have set up intentional rest practices to try to protect ourselves from the overwhelming burnout that affects so many practitioners in the therapy field. We’re big fans of Tricia Hersey’s @thenapministry and her recent debut manifesto Rest is Resistance.
So of course, we wanted to create a workshop to divest from productivity + hustle culture and connect with the spirit of play.
Mindsets, narratives and values around work and productivity are often formed in childhood.
I mean, how often were we asked as kids: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. This question alludes to the mindset that we are only valued by our profession and our continual contribution to an unjust capitalist system that keeps us burned out, stuck and exhausted.
What if we were asked: “How do you want to be?”.
Our workshop last week focused on the “how”. Our main focus was to give participants a space to exist outside of hustle culture. Where you don't have to be in achievement mode. The workshop offers psychoeducation, art therapy and community engagement. We will all learn more about ourselves, but there are no expectations for how you show up.
Ashleigh and I hope to offer this workshop again in September! If you're interested in joining, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put you on the interest list.