Take Care of Yourself

The best thing I’ve read recently is Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure by Aisha S. Ahmad. I highly suggest you give it a read and allow it to sink into your mind and your heart as good things will come from that. My big takeaways from the piece were a number of things that have been floating around in my mind over the last few years:

  1. That Covid-19 will change everything about who we are and what we do moving forward, and that is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.
  2. That We Are Not Our Jobs.
  3. Focus on your mental health.
  4. Focus on supporting and loving your family.
  5. Embrace authenticity.
  6. All of this that we’re living in will take time to process and understand.

Now more than ever, we must abandon the performative and embrace the authentic. Our essential mental shifts require humility and patience. Focus on real internal change. These human transformations will be honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrated, beautiful, and divine. And they will be slower than keener academics are used to. Be slow. Let this distract you. Let it change how you think and how you see the world. Because the world is our work. And so, may this tragedy tear down all our faulty assumptions and give us the courage of bold new ideas.

-Aisha S. Ahmad, from WHY YOU SHOULD IGNORE ALL THAT CORONAVIRUS-INSPIRED PRODUCTIVITY PRESSURE.

At the core of it all is the message that you should take care of yourself. You should be kind to yourself. You should look out for yourself. We do not have to kill ourselves to look more productive. These messages are especially true in the Covid-19 times, but they are equally as important in every other time as well. This is not just an article that resonates for these times, but an article that should resonate well after we’ve managed to grow from what we’re involved in right now. Things are tough right now, but I do believe that in tough times we really come together and come out of it a bit better as a whole. I believe that the struggles the world is seeing as a result of Covid-19 will lead to a better world, one where we respect each other more, one where we take care of ourselves more and value mental health, patience, and the understanding that work and productivity are not everything. We are going to get through this and at the end of it is a brighter future.

In closing, I’ll share the fantastic tune SUNDAY by Iggy Pop. When performing this song live on a recent tour he began the performance with a nice spoken word bit about work, jobs, life, time away, and how all of that intersects together. It’s been something that I’ve kept at the forefront of my mind all of this time and it is coming back to me at the right time. I’ve transcribed Iggy’s spoken word below. I urge you to give the video and the tune a listen as well for maximum inspiration! We don’t have to kill ourselves to contribute to the world. The best thing we can do is be kind, be caring, and be authentic.


“It’s good to have a job, but not matter what job you have you kinda find after you get it ‘oh shit there’s some shit that goes with this that I didn’t think of!’….a little game playing, a little politics, a little evil, no rest, constant stress. That’s why I say sometimes ‘fuck off asshole, leave me alone, don’t you know it’s fucking Sunday!”Iggy Pop, American Vallhalla

2 comments

  1. Hi Justin, Just a note to tell you that Jim had open heart surgery on March5 he is doing much better now but has a long way to go. Hope everything is ok with you. Everyone in Titusville is on stay at home status. Didn’t have your e-mail.

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