hustle commute

Getting from point A to point B is hard. The success stories don’t happen overnight, and we don’t all wake up with a magical six-figure income. That reality check is easy to forget, however. Rarely do we hear from someone in the midst of the slog, battling through something that is hard or misaligned.

Hello from the slog. Or more accurately, the booth at Popeye’s Chicken, a chain restaurant that seems completely at odds with my mostly organic, aspirationally plant-based lifestyle. What can I say- the biscuits are delicious. My apartment is a mess, the strength workout I’ve been reviewing for weeks remains to be done, and I’m behind on course work for a program I’ve enrolled in.

In a rush to get out the door this morning, my husband and I took a second to sit. We both admitted to stalling. We know we have great things to come, and big dreams that involve travel, independence and refreshed outlooks. And perhaps that strength workout. However, we are squarely in the middle of starting and achieving, a place where action seems futile. So being late for work seemed perfectly acceptable.

Earlier this year, we sold our condo. We realized that freeing ourselves from a mortgage was necessary. We were absolutely locked into a life that didn’t make sense. We turned around and paid off all of our debts—car payments, credit cards. Moving the needle from red to black was powerful, because it set us for a new life. But it was just one step.

The next step was moving into an apartment—a sound choice on paper, when reviewing the numbers. However, the reality presents a different picture sometimes. 50% less space, 100% less wow-factor and a complete 180 from the trajectory that we are “meant” to be on.

And everyday we choose the next step—work the job, build the bank account and hustle dreams on the side. Coaching clients after work, taking a lunch break at Popeye’s for some writing, and waking up early to do a yoga video. We strive to live on one income, squirreling the rest away for savings and dreams, but things don’t always work out. But then the next month comes, and we can start over.

Sometimes in the slog, it is hard to see the good. It is hard to be happy for the friends with the new titles, houses or purses. The end of the tunnel is really far off, and it feels like hitting rewind could be a great idea. With a bit of a snowball effect, a pity party can become a lingering unhappiness with where you are.

I came across this quote by Steve Maraboli this morning, “The more I understand the mind and human experience, the more I begin to suspect there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.”

Really, things aren’t as dismal as our brains spin them to be, and there isn’t a need to back off, quit or retreat due to fear. Instead, there is a choice to change perspectives and relish in the process, having a bubble bath in the slog. This quote hit me, challenging me to rethink where I have been, rather than how long it is taking. So I say, begrudgingly, that I’m grateful for the process (but I wish it would hurry up). And that sometimes, I need some biscuits to shift my perspective, and sweeten the slog.