I sat up a little straighter in the sweatpants I’d been wearing for three days. The “trick,” of course, was some to-do list management system that costs “just 62 cents a day.” In my moment of greasy, inferior weakness, I swiped up, filled with visions of myself in a committed relationship with an adult skincare routine and an uncanny ability to remember other people’s birthdays. In this future, not only was I crushing it professionally, but I was also bilingual, moisturized, and on top of canceling free trials before they charged my card for $9.99 plus tax. 

My hope curdled when I discovered it was just an app that mapped your time-blocked tasks onto your calendar for you. My problem wasn’t a lack of time or Google Calendar mastery—it was simply a lack of the juice. “The juice” is how I refer to the get-up-and-go-mojo that propels me through my to-do list like a heat-seeking missile. It is the joie de vivre that compels me to plug my transactions into my Wealth Planner, respond to texts, take out the trash, write words for a podcast that’ll (hopefully) make you laugh and think.

It had been rainy and cloudy all week, and I, evidently running an operating system about as sophisticated as a clearance Home Depot houseplant, had been moping around—unable to photosynthesize the juice. 

Reluctant to accept that I was doomed to juicelessness, I diligently tried everything to summon it: cold plunges, cardio, hydration, caffeine, weight-lifting, walks, affirmations, pointing at myself in the mirror shouting Get your shit together! I wished there were a hard reset button I could press on my brain and body to recalibrate the vibe and restore my patience with everyone around me, but short of psychedelic drugs (considered, but ultimately discarded, as too much of a wild card), I realized the juice cannot be manufactured from concentrate. 

I searched high and low for motivation, but all I found was irritation and indifference. I still feel anxious, she says, between her third and fourth shots of espresso. I checked my Oura ring app to see where I was in my hormone cycle, hoping that might explain it—only to spiral further upon realizing I was in the thick of the phase when energy, clarity, and motivation are supposed to be at all-time highs. Betrayed, I had nothing left in my biohacking toolbox to throw at the psychological discomfort. We had officially reached the bargaining phase.

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