We’ve all heard that old chestnut about how saying yes to one thing is saying no to another, right? Well, I get asked a lot about how I devote so much time to this blog or writing fiction. And the answer is my life is in shambles!

a coffe mug spilling on a pile of papers with the text "Productivity Hack: My Life is in Shambles"

Basically, I say yes to chaos and no to order.

Here’s the deal, fam. You can have a clean house with organized closets or you can follow your dream. And while I love the idea of living in a home that gets vacuumed every single day with a sink that never has dishes sitting in it, I would rather write books.

So if you’ve been laboring under the notion that I have it all together, or that anyone can do it all, you’re mistaken. And to that point, everyone has an area of their life that is an absolute mess.

Maybe it’s their home. Maybe it’s their personal relationships. Maybe it’s their taxes.

No one has it all together.

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Sure, they say the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. But that’s a lot of bullshit. And I would bet even money that the person who came up with that saying had someone at home taking care of all the shit they didn’t want to do when they were doing everything else the way they do it.

Behind every ableist productivity hack or minimalist trend of how to work, there’s a person picking up the slack.

But if you don’t have a person to pick up the slack, or you don’t want to foist unnecessary work on your partner, then I bet your life is in shambles too.

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I know the “my life is in shambles” meaning most people are looking for is the one where you pretend you’re an absolute fuck up and can’t get anything right. But you’re doing great, sweetie. Seriously. All things considered, you’ve got this.

If you feel like you aren’t a “grown up” or you can’t get anything right, that isn’t necessarily true. I mean, it may be the reality, but it’s not because of some failure on your part. The system just wasn’t designed for you to thrive.

All our lives are in shambles, bro. You’re supposed to be here. The key is to ride the wave.

My Brain is in Shambles

I mostly feel like my brain is in shambles because there’s so much to think about at any given time.

I know the common narrative is that women used to run households easily and efficiently. In post World War II America, women stayed home and cared for children and made their clothes and cooked meals and tended gardens.

And yeah. That was true.

But that does leave out how women got prescriptions for amphetamines from their doctors so they could have enough energy to do all those things during the day. And when the amphetamines kept them up and awake too much, they got some barbiturates from their doctor to help them fall asleep at night.

None of that sounds great.

And our whole system–the United States economy–was predicated on the unpaid labor of women, and preventing them from having any opportunity outside the home so they could take care of all the stuff men didn’t do.

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So, yeah. If you’re wondering why you can’t keep up with home chores and your job and the thing you want to make in this life, it’s because you’re not meant to. Our whole system was designed for a traditional family unit, with one partner working outside the home and the other partner keeping things going at home.

That’s not the reality for most families anymore.

And if you feel like you can’t keep up, it’s because you can’t. It wasn’t designed for you to succeed.

My brain is in shambles because the deck was stacked long ago. And I can either feel bad that I don’t have a super clean house, or I can do what I want.

After all, if it ain’t yours, don’t carry it.

Any time it feels like there’s too much to focus on, I think about that Mary Oliver quote about what you’re going to do with your one wild and precious life. And it’s absolutely not going to be taking a ton of drugs so I can clean my house.

The deck is probably stacked against you too. Click To Tweet

I am in Shambles

I am in shambles too, fam, mostly because I wasn’t really meant to thrive in this environment. And by this environment, I mean a world where I’m more human capital than human.

I am in shambles because humans could’ve had a world where all they did was make art and have discussions and eat amazing food, but instead we have credit scores and middle managers who have no real function other than to call meetings that could’ve been emails.

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I get that we all want to pretend that we can productivity hack our way out of it, but mostly, you can’t.

I know that a lot of older posts on this blog haven’t stood the test of time. As a single person with no kids, I could hack my time how I saw fit. But now, as a married person who is thinking about kids, I’m starting to really see the cracks in the foundation.

And the global pandemic has shown us those cracks aren’t simple little cracks. They’re wide chasms made to swallow us whole.

If you don’t see the cracks, congrats. The system was designed for you.

But if you’re reading this blog, I’m willing to bet you see the cracks or you’re holding on to the edge for dear life.

I wish I had some advice here. But I guess my only advice is to keep on going. You can live in the mess. And for so many, I know the mess is more than just a dirty house where chores aren’t getting done. Maybe bills aren’t getting paid. Maybe so much more is falling by the wayside.

The system was designed for some of us to fail. And I can’t fix it with a pithy blog post.

But if you see this and it makes you feel a little less alone, then I guess I’ve done what I can for now.

All our lives are in shambles, gang. And I’m here with you in solidarity.

All our lives are in shambles, gang. And I'm here with you in solidarity. Click To Tweet

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