On Doing All The Things, Why Baby Cobra Is Important, And Why You Shouldn’t Read My Blog

So there was this one time recently when I had the whole day off. No work, no appointments. Just a blank canvas primed for at least 12 hours of Productivity! Purpose! Pertinacity! Phuck Yeah! So, naturally, I approached this day with a determination that rivaled only a teenage girl with front row tickets to a Coldplay concert, hell-bent on touching Chris Martin’s middle-aged but oh-so-chiseled face. I constructed myself an idiot-proof to-do list that accounted for all the acts of brilliance I would accomplish on such a special day, down to the very last minute when my head would presumably hit the pillow.

With my bullet-proof to-do list in hand, I set out on a journey to accomplish All The Things on this rare, special, precious day off. This list included such stunning line items including (but not limited to) the following:

  1. Do all the shopping *yeah, sure!*
  2. Deep clean the apartment *no problem*
  3. Cook 3 badass meals, probably like vegan and whatnot *child’s play*
  4. Write a blog post *yaass*
  5. Construct a budget *no sweat — I’m a champion*
  6. Exercise, probably for a few hours *oh yeah!*
  7. Decide what I want to be when I grow up *fuck yeah*

After returning something at the mall and dropping off a Goodwill donation, as well as runs to Target, Walgreens, two grocery stores, and the pet store, I was disappointed to find that my morning had taken twice as long as my original estimations. I rushed home, eager to get to work on the badass meal I had planned. When I skidded into a parking spot, I found myself in a quandary. I had 4 bags of groceries, a bag from Target, a 12 roll package of paper towels, laundry detergent, and cat litter that all needed to go up to my apartment.

Flash forward to a kind neighbor who opened the door for me as I fell inside like a frazzled Santa, carrying (believe it or not) all of these items at once. When we found ourselves in the elevator together, I said to this helpful stranger, “I know, this may have been a little ambitious.” He replied, “Hey, I’ve been there. You’re gonna get all the damn bags up in one go, no matter the circumstances.” This brings me to the most valuable takeaway for me from my third weekend of yoga teacher training.

How you do one thing is how you do everything.

I am an epic overachiever. Baby steps do not exist for me. My first time skiing I went straight to the black diamond slope. Last time I moved, I signed a lease, packed up an entire house worth of shit, rented a moving truck, and moved into my new apartment within 24 hours. As my nature is when it comes to carrying groceries, so is my nature when it comes to living.

This is a Baby Cobra:


This is also a Baby Cobra:

As you can see by my illustration, he is super important. Baby Cobra pose prepares the spine for Upward Facing Dog. It massages and warms up the back muscles to get ready for deeper backbends. I don’t do it. Why? Because I’m too busy getting all the damn bags up in one go. Where the black diamond at? YOLO.

Seriously, though, this is all a long way of saying I’m going to attempt to take smaller bites. Outta life and out of pizza. How hard can it be to simplify, walk instead of run, whisper instead of yell?

I’ve been struggling to write for about 3 months now because I’ve been having a crisis about originality. This has already been said before. Below is an exhausting list of articles and blog posts that touch on pretty much the same thing as the very post you are currently going to the trouble to read. From one 20-something to another, here are 20 articles that only brush the surface of discourse on millennials (Generation Y, 20-somethings, or whatever you want to call earthlings born between 1980 and the early 2000s) and la dee da all their stress, anxiety, and depression that stems from unrealistic goals, perfectionism, etc. Take it for what you will.

  1. This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult — Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half
  2. Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy — Tim Urban, Wait But Why
  3. According to The Huffington Post, Gen-Y Is Sad… But Are We? — Mattie Kahn, Man Repeller
  4. 7 Common Habits of Unhappy People — Henrik Edberg, The Positivity Blog
  5. Why the Ambitious Are the Least Likely to be Successful — Alexander Heyne, Milk the Pigeon
  6. Is Too Much Ambition Making You Miserable? — Jessica Stillman, Inc.com
  7. Too Ambitious For Your Own Good? Three Tips for Pacing Yourself — Sarah Vermunt, Forbes
  8. The Vicious Triangle of Perfectionism, Anxiety & Depression — Victoria Maxwell, Psychology Today
  9. Why Being a Perfectionist Can Make You Depressed — Ann W. Smith, Everyday Health
  10. 14 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out of Control — Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post
  11. 7 Habits of Highly Miserable Twenty-Somethings — Jenny Blake, Life After College
  12. You Too, Can Be A Happy 20-Something — Anonymous, Thought Catalog
  13. 19 Things Unhappy People Do — Hilary White, POPSUGAR
  14. 27 Life-Changing Habits All Twentysomethings Should Adopt — Carolyn Kylstra, BuzzFeed
  15. When Are You Really An Adult? — Julie Beck, The Atlantic
  16. The Myth of “I Am Not Doing Enough” — Jennifer Pastiloff, Positively Positive
  17. How to Do Less and Live More — Kris Carr, Positively Positive
  18. Woes Of The Wunderkind: Should We Pity Young Overachievers Instead of Envying Them? — J. Maureen Henderson, Forbes
  19. Young Minds: Millennials Facing Increased Rates of Stress Compared to Other Generations — Allison Vuchnich & Carmen Chai, Global News
  20. The Question That Ruined Generation Y — Lea Grover, Huffington Post

I won’t be click-worthy. I’m not a yoga evangelist. I don’t have 7 Ways To Get Your Life Together in Your 20s to share with you. So maybe that renders this “blog” pointless? The only thing I know right now is that yoga works for me because it is like taking my life and shrinking its macro complexity down to the micro size of a yoga mat. It’s a way to observe myself and life, because how I do one thing is how I do everything. If I’m fighting a battle with myself on my mat — “You can’t hold that pose. You suck. Your foot hurts. I want pizza.” — then I’m probably doing the same thing out into the world — “You can’t write. You suck. Nobody cares about you. I want pizza.”

You don’t need to change. There aren’t 20 Ways to be Happy in 2016. If we were to compile all the BuzzFeed lists of ways to be a happy 20-something and try to take all that advice, we would be back to our unreasonable expectations for ourselves, and back to Doing All The Things. The interwebs are kind of encouraging the creation of a cult of feel-good self-improvement that in reality promotes self-destruction. So, careful out there, friend! Don’t forget the value of a Baby Cobra.

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