Life is a Series of Natural and Spontaneous Changes | Internetly Vol. 22

On dealing with grief, the unreasonable effectiveness of showing up every day, and ditching the 40-hour workweek.

Hi there, 

My dog, Oreo, passed away last Friday. 

This explains why Internetly wasn’t in your inbox last Sunday. Mark my word, I had full intention of sending it out. I was actually writing Internetly on the Eurostar en route to London last Friday…and then my mom Facetimed me. 

I picked up in a cheery tone. But then I saw the tears in her eyes. 

It was his time. He was 15-years-old. A shelter dog, Oreo lived a wonderful life and was adored by our family. But last year he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and it went downhill from there. 

If you’re not familiar with congestive heart failure, let me warn you: It’s not pretty. The heart slows down and is unable to pump blood throughout the body. Fluid begins to accumulate, and as it sloshes around it crushes the surrounding organs. If left untreated, the animal feels like it’s drowning in its own body. 

Yeah. It’s a shitty way to go. 

I’m thankful Oreo was put down when he was. Does it make it any less heartbreaking?

Meh. 

I left London a few days later feeling mentally exhausted. The pendulum of emotion had swung in both directions and left me spinning. If I wasn’t feeling grief, I was experiencing elation because I reunited with my old British girlfriends that I hadn’t seen in 2+ years. 

After cruising in the numbness, it’s starting to give way to acceptance. And this is where the root of all peace comes from. After coming to terms with that this is a natural step in the cycle of life, I’m doing okay. Promise.

So, hold your pets tight and tell people you love them. Life happens in an instant. 

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu


🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator

This Week: It Doesn’t Take Much to Get Started 

Becoming a creator sounds awfully intimidating. 

Even the name in itself. Creator. You produce something from nothingness. 

But it’s really not that deep. You don’t have to do much to ship out your brainchild into the universe. 

In Kishore Nallan’s piece “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Just Showing Up Every Day,” Nallan explains how he was able to launch his product Typesense by writing a few lines of code every day. 

That’s it. No fancy product-market fit. No expensive marketing strategy. No quarterly reviews, plans, or quotas. It was just an easy-breezy “I’ll show up every day.” 

And honestly, that’s all it takes. As human beings, we tend to make things more complicated than they have to be because we default to struggle. If something doesn’t make us grind, then we’re not doing it right. 

This isn’t helpful. You need to ask yourself, “What would this look like if it were easy?” to see the bigger picture.

And in the case of creation, the answer is simply to show up and put in a little bit of work, every day. 

TL;DR 

Becoming a creator doesn’t require any fancy game plans. It’s just about showing up every day. 🖼


🥒 Content Diet

  1. Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Different from the usual content diet, but bear with me. 

Yesterday I headed to MAD Paris to view their Histoires des Photographies exposition. It showcases over 350,000 photos that date back from the 1840s! It was spectacular. 

This photo in particular caught my eye. 

It’s a photo of famous French dancer Cléo Du Mérode taken in 1895. Cléo was a ballet dancer during the Belle Epoque of Paris and was considered one of the first “modern celebrities.” 

The crispness of the photo was marking. I imagined Cléo as a girl born in 1996. She would’ve had an Instagram, maybe acrylic nails, or a nose piercing. She would’ve worn oversized baggy t-shirts before heading to bed. She could’ve been my classmate or someone who’d go to bottomless brunch and get too tipsy off of peach bellinis. 

But she wasn’t born in 1996. She was born over 146 years ago. And here she was, trapped in this photograph, held captive by another millennium in time. It felt like time travel gone awry. 

Fun fact: Miss Cléo traveled to NYC in 1897 to perform at Koster and Bial’s music hall. Apparently, her much-anticipated performance was rather lackluster, leading to her name being smeared in the papers. Her response? 

“The papers pretended that I danced badly, as if Americans could tell.” 

Well played, queen. 

TL;DR 

Take a moment to look through photographs of people taken over a hundred years ago and imagine as if they were citizens of the 21st century captured in the wrong decade. It’s a trippy thought experiment. 🧪


✍🏼 Freelancing Journey

This Week: Freelancing Isn’t a 9-to-5 Gig (Or a 24/7 One)

You probably read the header and thought, “No shit, Sherlock.” 

It's well known that many people become freelancers to escape the 9-to-5 time block. But many of those same people end up working 24/7, consumed by the pressure of working for themselves. 

But let me shine a helpful tidbit for you. The average person is productive for only 2 hours and 53 minutes

After three hours the quality of your work is going to steadily decline. It’s important as a freelancer you understand this fact so you can resist the urge to work late into the night. Rather, it’s important you structure your day in a way where you isolate your most productive hours and go all in during that time. 

For example, this window for me is from 9 AM to 12 PM. After a lunch break, I might head back for another hour or two, but honestly, I work primarily in the mornings. And that’s about it. 

I don’t mind working on the weekends because I keep the workdays short. So isolate your productive hours and create a schedule where you can use them to the fullest. 

And remember: 

TL;DR 

The average person is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes a day. Find which time of the day you’re most productive and hone in on those hours rather than committing to the 40-hour workweek. 🎯


That’s it this week!

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Have a beautiful week,

Alice 💌