I have a sign in my office at work that says, “Good things come to those who hustle.” I loved it, until I hated it.
It’s the opposite of waiting for good things to just happen. It’s a kick in the pants that our time here is brief and we’d better chase after the things we want and the goals we have. I can get behind that thinking, and that’s why the sign landed in my TJ Maxx cart several years ago.
But, it also suggests that we must strive, try harder, push through with our own strength and endurance. Constant hustle can become exhausting, leaving no room to decipher between the urgent and the important. If we don’t create space to rest, we risk burning and crashing.
Less Hustle, In Our Own Backyard
It’s summer in North Dakota and we’re enjoying the perks of our new country home, starting with the yard. In our old home, the backyard was positioned in such a way that the kids couldn’t just bop outside to play. Going to the backyard was an event, gathering our things and running around the house to enter from the side fence.
Now, with patio doors facing a cozy, tree-lined creek, we’re spending as many moments as possible soaking up the sunshine. By the end of the day, we have dusty toes and sparkling eyes. Spontaneous summer evenings that prioritize fresh air and forget messy kitchens are the opposite of hustle. It’s like taking a long, slow sip of ice cold lemonade.
Telling Hustle to Take a Hike
Yes, there’s a place for hustle. I’ve spent much of my twenties hustling, and it’s served me well. Hustle is still the natural rhythm of my bones, and I’m pretty sure I’m wired that way for life. But, as the merry-go-round of home, work and family continually catches speed, I find myself increasingly telling hustle to take a hike—at least for little pockets of time. Whether a bursting-at-the-seams Monday inbox that could use a moment of Zen, or a Tuesday night begging for ooey gooey s’mores over a last-minute bonfire, the opportunities to hush the hustle are quietly peeking around every corner.
Too much hustle, I’ve found, displays a lack of trust. A lack of faith that things will get done, maybe not in my timeline, but His. When I’m hyper-focused on completing housework at 10 p.m. on a weeknight, with thoughts of dirty dishes and wet laundry and diapers for daycare swirling through my brain, I’m hustling hard. I’m forgetting to lay down my burden and hand it all over. I fail to realize I did what I could for the day and rest in the fact that we’re not graded on our performance. If we pour everything into the hustle of the world, we risk draining our souls and having nothing left to give.
I know that I like a clean and organized home to calm my mind and function at my best, but I also know that unrushed time with my husband and kids matters more. This world moves fast. It’s up to us to slow down and create the pace that feels right. For me, this summer, that’s hustling less and making time for more of the good stuff.