What do you do when your boss is an asshole… and you’re your own boss?

(several years ago) It’s 9:00 on Sunday night.

“I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Kyeli asks.

“How about we watch a speedrun? Or play an adventure game? Or there was a cool-sounding IF game I bookmarked; we could try that out. Let’s do all three! Ready?”

“Why are you in such a hurry, Pace? We’ve got plenty of time.”

I take a deep breath and I notice that I had been breathing shallowly and quickly. My shoulders were tight and high. I let them sink, gently.

“I think it’s because I’m not looking forward to Monday.”

Kyeli raises an eyebrow. “Afraid your asshole boss will make you do a bunch of work you hate?”

I nod. “Yes, exactly.”

“You do realize that you could choose to be a kind boss to yourself, right?” asks Kyeli.

“I know, it’s just that there’s a bunch of stuff to get done for my business, someone’s got to do it, and that someone’s got to be me! It’s not that I’m intentionally trying to be mean to myself, it’s… just the way of things.”

Kyeli gives me a hug. We watch a speedrun, play an adventure game for a while, and start the IF game.

Meanwhile, my gears are turning.

Later that night

In bed, I turn to Kyeli and say, “You’re right. I really am an asshole boss. I want to be kinder to myself, but I’m afraid that the business won’t work unless I make myself do the stuff I hate.”

“Could you try an experiment?” Kyeli asks, because she knows that I will always say yes to an experiment.

“Like what?” I reply suspiciously but curiously.

“I don’t know. Some way to be a kind boss to yourself and see how it goes. See what it feels like. Find out if it’s true that the business won’t work without forcing yourself.”

“That’s a great idea, but I can’t think of a way to do that as an experiment when our livelihood is on the line. That’s more like ‘do it’ than an experiment.”

Kyeli thinks for a moment. “How about trying it out for one day a week?”

“Hmm, that could work! I’ll pick Mondays, because that’ll make it easy to ease into my work week. On Mondays, I’ll only do things that I love. I won’t take appointments, and anything I don’t love can wait until Tuesday.”

“That sounds like a kinder boss,” Kyeli says, and kisses me.

We cuddle and sleep.

(a few weeks later) It’s 9:00 on Sunday night.

“I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Kyeli asks.

“Hmmmmmmm…” I take a deep breath. “How about we cuddle and read? I’m really into my book.”

“That sounds lovely,” says Kyeli. “You know, you’ve had a lot less end-of-weekend panic since you started your all-love Mondays experiment.”

“Yes,” I reply, nodding. “And it’s been good for business, too. I’m super productive on Mondays because I’m not spending my energy resisting or avoiding my to-do list. Plus, it’s a great time to plan for the future and come up with new ideas, and I’ve already come up with a couple that I want to run by you. But not tonight.”

“Not tonight,” she agrees.

We lean up against each other. We read.

We smile.

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p.s. This story was one of my inspirations to create and teach Peaceful Productivity. All-love Mondays helped me get things done, effectively and with kindness – and that’s just one of the many things I’ve learned that I’m excited to share with you. Just 3 more days left to sign up!

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