📚 Next Chapter Syndrome
It's when you both want and dread a lifestyle change.
Today’s newsletter is like coffee with heavy cream - why in the f*ck would you ruin coffee like that? But apparently, it’s delicious, and we’re starting with the heavy cream.
I’ve got a sneaky little question for you.
If you were to take the last 5 years of your life and split it into 5 unique chapters, what would those chapters be? I bet they wouldn’t be split evenly in 5 different years, am I correcto?
I’d hazard a guess and say they’d be split by lifestyle shifts, locations, and relationships.
You might have some chapters 18 months to 2-years long defined by relationships gained and lost, places lived and let go, or careers starting and ending.
But you also might have chapters 3-4 months long chapters involving extended travel with life-long impact, trying times, or even massive lulls.
For me, my first professional job was a 2-year chapter that had many twists and turns that weren’t even related to the job, but “first job” is how my brain compartmentalized it. And I’ve thought about why it did that.
Defining events out of the ordinary.
Moments where you’re on the brink of change.
Transitionary periods where you have no idea what to expect.
These moments feel like a cocktail of horror, excitement, and uncertainty, and they naturally become flag polls in our life. Places where we can say, “Yep, you’ll find that collection or memories between the “bad breakup” tree and the “new house” traffic lights.”
And in between is littered with memories scattered to oblivion and stretching to the horizon.
Some blend with routine; others are so divergent from the pattern that you remember them for years to come.
I personally get stressed to all hell when I feel a new chapter coming on because cocktails are excellent, but for me, those ingredients we talked about before don’t make the tastiest cocktail.
And this stress, the discomfort that comes before a new chapter, that’s what I call Next Chapter Syndrome.
And the cure to Next Chapter Syndrome is actually quite simple, and it’s a tonic I’ve been prepping recently as I move into a new chapter.
1 Part “Fuck It.”
1 Part “Being Comfortable With Discomfort.”
2 Parts “Fear Of Stagnation” and ice.
Shaken like motherf*cker and stirred to sh*t for good measure.
The time will pass anyway, and extending the current chapter because you’re scared of the unknown is why people stay in jobs, relationships, or lifestyles they hate.
But trust me with this page out of my personal experience.
If you say, “Fuck it, I’m okay with a little bit of discomfort, and I’m shit scared of stagnating in my life.” enough times - you’ll get over the Next Chapter Syndrome, and you’ll flip that page.
I’m there now, and it’s rough but necessary.
So know that if you’re going through this, I am too.
Was the cream heavy enough?
Don’t worry; now it’s time for the caffeine.
🍻 Modern Life Is Going To Different Places And Drinking
When did this become the new normal?
Man, sometimes I don’t want to go to a bar, club, picnic, or catch up with copious amounts of alcohol. It messes with my sleep, it craps all over the diet, and I genuinely think it’s a substitute for actual fun.
But I LOVE beer; I’m an enthusiast or a snob if you will. So my problem isn’t with the drinking; it’s just with the fact that it’s the “default” thing to do.
And hey, maybe this is just a “me problem,” and you have no idea what I’m talking about.
But whether it is or isn’t, I’ve put together a little list of all the crap where drinking is either optional or not involved - treat it as an ideas list, if not anything else.
Custom Pizza/Taco night - have a spread of topping/fillings on the bench with some mini pizza bases or taco shells and invite all your friends over.
Boardgame, Trivia, and Poker nights - let the competition ruin your friendships.
Mini-golf, VR Room, Goat Carting, Arcade, Billiards, Axe Throwing, Ping pong - low energy, much fun.
Squash, Run clubs, Cycling groups, Social Volleyball, Indoor Soccer, Throwing around a ball in a park or at the beach - higher energy, mucho fun.
Hiking, Running, Climbing - max energy, change of scenery, and solo fun.
Beaches, Road trips, Nature Picnics, and BBQs - some of my favorites.
I’ve been doing more of these for the last 6 months, and life’s been better because of it.
And don’t get me wrong, the beers are still present; it’s just become less default and more of an occasion - or so I like to think.
🔗 Link Dump
I’ve got a rainbow of links today to put a smile on your face.
🎨 Found this tool recently, and I’ve been using it for getting pastel color palettes.
⭐ Wrote a new article on how making my productivity database free has given me ridiculous value.
🥗 Enjoying these 15-min lunch/dinner videos from Ex. Brothers Greens Eats channel Pro Home Cooks - this guy has a lot of value to give with practical cooking.
🎶 I saved this collab I saw on Reddit a while ago, and it’s the best thing ever.
And that’s all, folks.
Hope you enjoyed this one, and I’ll catch you in the next.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the Substack thread.