You Can’t Plan for Everything

How eerie that I wrote this post a week and a half ago after returning from my road trip. Things were different last week; it now feels like a year ago.

Here are some insights from Deidre of last week, which are oddly fitting for this time of extreme disruption and uncertainty:

“Lately, I’ve felt like my life is a little too routine. I try to maximize my happiness and productivity by doing yoga, eating less sugar, and drawing everyday. Which are all good things, except for the reason I do them: I have a bad habit of trying to minmax my life.

If you’re a gamer, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘min-maxing’. Here’s the definition of a minmaxer from Wiktionary:

A player who attempts to create an optimized character by minimizing unfavourable traits and maximizing favourable ones, typically by improving a single trait or ability to the exclusion of others.

With everything I do, I try to optimize myself and my experiences.

While on my road trip, I wanted to make sure I was having the most fun possible and getting the most out of my vacation. If I didn’t hit every tourist attraction or sample all the local foods, my vacation would be a waste, and I would only focus on the things I hadn’t experienced, rather than the amazing things I had done.

Case in point: I’m still kicking myself for not doing anything in Dallas. At the time I was too tired and stressed out to pack more into my road trip, and I really just needed to rest that day. So that’s what I did. And it felt so wrong. I even fall into this trap with my Etsy store.

I’ve been constantly trying to improve my marketing, my products, and my drawings. For a while, drawing became all about what other people would like to buy, and drawing without the purpose of selling seemed like ‘a waste of time.’

Being productive all the time is joyless. Beneficial yes, but joyless. 

Even writing this blog post feels a little too productive, but it does bring me joy because I’m not trying to stuff it with keywords or rank for SEO. I’m writing for me.

If you do things out of joy, sometimes the side effect is productivity.

So I’m not setting any more goals.

Trying to maximize my life sucked the joy out of it. You can’t plan for everything. You can’t predict the future. You can only do things in the moment, and marvel at how amazing life is.”

I get chills just reading what I wrote last week. Hope you’re all having an unproductive week and taking care of yourselves. Best wishes to everyone,