The Rumbling

Creating small habits to reach larger goals.

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readOct 21, 2018


The first book I read after Nelle died in September of 2015 was Rising Strong by Brene Brown. It was exactly what I needed at that time. Brown talks about three parts of the rising strong process: the Reckoning, the Rumble, and the Revolution. Of the rumble, she writes:

“The rumble begins with turning up our curiosity level and becoming aware of the story we’re telling ourselves about our hurt, anger, frustration, or pain.”

I had to rumble with myself this past week.

It was my birthday on Thursday, and much like last year, I felt my age more than I had in the years before I lost Nelle and Iris. Even more so this year. 35 marks entering a “new age bracket” in my mind. The boxes I check on demographic forms will now be “35–44.” It feels decidedly more like “mid-30s.” And more than ever, I began to question what I personally want to accomplish.

This identification of “what do I want to do?” began after Autumn was born, maybe a bit before. The focus had finally shifted from “wanting to give birth to a healthy baby” to “wanting to fulfill myself” in other ways. I focused more energy on writing. I captured some time alone on Sunday mornings for this effort — time alone, time uninterrupted, time without distractions. Autumn would wake early in the day and I would often sit, sipping my coffee and with my Surface while she fed herself a banana and Cheerios for breakfast.

The past few months have shifted dramatically. As the days grow shorter, Autumn wasn’t waking as early, therefore neither was I. Somehow that Sunday time became hijacked by other responsibilities. I had thoughts swirling in my head but could not find the time to capture them in any way. It became a funk that I was pulled deeper and deeper into.

Couple that with the strain on a space in the house in which I could dedicate my energy. We have been planning for months to add an addition, which would include an office that I could finally call my own.

I could picture this space in which I could finally gather all of my materials and inspiration, rather than a pile in the corner of the bedroom, and a desk in the basement, and a chair in the sunroom. I felt sprawled and scattered, and as the project…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •