August 3, 2021

F*ck Inspiration: the Quote that got me Out of Bed this Morning.

I did not want to get out of bed this morning.

Nope. Not one bit.

My room was the perfect temperature: a little humid but just cool enough that I needed to cover half my body with a warm, gray, fluffy blanket. And when my alarm went off at 6:30, I was right in the middle of a dream—something that seemed engrossing at the time but that I immediately forgot once the cellphone beeping and stream of light from the window interrupted me.

I remember turning my alarm off, and while I normally take that as my cue to stretch and move around and start the process of beginning my day, today I simply fumbled for the phone, hit the off button, and rolled back over, without ever fully opening my eyes.

I repeated this process 15 minutes later when my boyfriend’s alarm went off. And again after another 15 minutes, until finally—although my body was sore as hell from a pretty aggressive yoga class the day before and my brain hadn’t fully powered up yet—I forced my eyes to stay open.

There I was, barely functional, with zero desire to leave the bed and do all the things I knew I had to do—and it was only Tuesday.

On days like this, I try to find inspiration, something good in the day that wills me to enter the land of the living. But today there was no inspiration.

I knew I had to do the basics: brush my teeth, take a shower, put real clothes on. I had to walk my dog and make sure he ate breakfast. I had to feed myself and take my vitamins and then sit down in front of my computer for eight hours of meetings and editing and administrative tasks. And after work, I had to exercise and make dinner and spend time with my partner and find a few moments to decompress before I returned to my bed.

And yes, I could take the “positivity” and “gratitude” mindset and acknowledge how lucky I am to have all these things to show up for. I know, I know. But honestly, I was not in the mood for positivity or gratitude this morning. I was tired. And a bit grumpy. And wholly unmotivated.

Then I remembered a quote that has been floating around my head for a while now.

This quote, by acclaimed African-American science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, is what got me out of bed this morning:

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Finally, someone said it: f*ck inspiration!

Maybe there wasn’t anything spectacular happening on this random Tuesday in August that would inspire me to jump out of bed, but I realized that my list of “have-to-dos” is what will sustain me and move me forward so I can show up for all the good things that will, inevitably, appear.

Not every day, or every moment of every day, will be inspiring. Most days will be mundane, ordinary, routine. But our habits, and our ability to persist—even when we’re tired or grumpy or unmotivated—are what create our lives.


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