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Gone too far
How much is too much? You think you’ll know it when you see it, and yet people keep smoking after their second heart attack, get stuck in jobs they hate, or stay in abusive relationships for their entire lives. It's incredible what we can endure when there’s no sign to tell us “you’ve gone too far.”
I didn’t put up such a sign when I started this newsletter. I had a rough goal to keep at it until it would either get easier or unsustainable. But without a definition for unsustainable, writing every day started eating into my free time until I didn’t have any, then into my sleep schedule until I had to pull periodical all-nighters to keep up, then into my relationships and my health, and only then it became unsustainable enough that I couldn’t write anymore.
You hardly noticed, but I haven’t sent out the daily newsletter in the last three days. I visited friends for a few days expecting to squeeze some writing in dead times but didn’t make it. At 4:00 am on Sunday, December 19th, I had a draft fully fleshed out on my screen but was way too exhausted to get it buttoned up and sent. For the first time in 228 days since I sent you the first email, I had missed a beat. I decided to take the rest of the vacation off from writing to metabolize the failure and come back to it fresh when I was back.
How symbolic that the moment I broke my promise of keeping in touch with you daily, the 100th subscriber signed up.
I hope you won’t feel betrayed, but I won’t go back to writing daily for the foreseeable future. I’m also taking a holiday break, and if you decide to stay despite the unexpected turn, you’ll likely hear from me in the first week of the new year.
If you’ve enjoyed getting my goofy writing in your inbox so far, it will make the best Christmas gift for me if you’d reply to this email to share your thoughts and ideas, and help me imagine the future of this newsletter.
Thank you for your precious time and attention. I hope you’ll be able to unplug and enjoy whatever good you have in your life in the coming days.