I am a happy person for the most part; content with my life and the way I live and grateful for all that I have and the wonderful people I am lucky enough to have around me. But every now and then I slip into feeling as though it’s not enough. I am not doing enough, or doing things well enough, and it’s hard to pull myself out of that abyss once I fall in.
Since school started a month ago, I’ve been floundering. I’m trying to find a rhythm and get in a groove, but if I’m being honest, I haven’t found it and I’m just treading water, trying to survive, and not feeling very good either physically or mentally about it. In fact, other than post-partum emotional insanity and exhaustion, I think this past month is probably the worst I’ve felt without knowing why at almost any time in my life.
This past week I was pretty sure it was a physical ailment pulling me down and sapping my energy, my motivation, my joy. I had a doctor appointment and did some blood tests and while I’m still waiting on results, I am pretty sure that what is actually troubling me is more mental than physical, and is just taking it’s toll on my body as well as my mind.
Here’s the problem, I think, in a nutshell: I cannot do everything. But I still try to, and then feel great failure and anxiety and disappointment over my inability to be perfect in all things.
Here are the tasks and duties I feel responsible to fulfill on a daily basis:
- Get the children off to school every morning without yelling or being in a rush, and with healthy lunches and snacks
- Maintain a perfectly clean house
- Have a well-decorated and comfortable home with nice furniture that does not have any stains and/or tears on any item (unlikely with 4 kids, a dog, and a cat)
- Cook well-balanced, organic, whole food meals and snacks that all 6 people in my family will love and enjoy eating
- Have a beautiful and well-kept yard AND a clean and orderly garage
- Do at least 1-2 loads of laundry a day in order to ensure there is not a dirty clothes pile the size of my sectional sofa sitting in my laundry room
- Actually fold and put the clean laundry away
- Write this blog
- Work on my other writing project
- Write a novel
- Grocery shop every other freaking day, but stay within my monthly food budget
- Volunteer in my kids’ schools
- Sew and/or knit (because I enjoy doing those things)
- Be in great shape; go to the gym AND train for a ten-mile race I am signed up for later this month
- Read with my kids every day
- Use my new-found 5 hours of child-free time when Q is in school every week in the most efficient way possible while still using that time for ME and not to do the 5 gazillion other things on this list
- Go to 3 soccer practices and 2 baseball practices a week, plus three games every Saturday
- Spend time with my husband that does not involve children’s sports and does not involve me collapsing on the couch at 8:31PM with the iPad firmly in hand and the TV on and him on his laptop
- Sleep at least 7 or 8 hours a night if I want to act like a nice human being
- Do all this and still look cute–have stylish and reasonably trendy clothes and shoes, an adorable haircut, and bonus points for manicures and pedicures in perfect Fall colors
- Do all this and stay within our monthly budget AND simultaneously pay off debt (using the Dave Ramsey plan)
I look at this list and realize that it is totally, completely, 100% ridiculous and impossible for a single person to do all those things. It. is. IMPOSSIBLE.
And yet I have allowed these mostly self-imposed responsibilities to convince me that I am not good enough. Logically, looking at this list, I know that’s crazy. It has just taken me a month of feeling pretty awful to take a look at what’s going on in my life and realize that only I can fix this problem, and the way to do it is to give myself a little grace. I would never expect all this from someone else, so why on Earth should I expect it of myself???
Recognizing this problem is, I hope, a huge step toward solving it.
Today, I tell myself, I will do what I can. I will do all the things I do in the best way I can do them, and it is okay not to do all of them.
I do not have to be perfect.
|A good reminder from the fabulous Clinton Kelly.|
I am enough. In fact, I am pretty freaking fabulous. Seriously, I am. (Thanks for reminding me, Clinton.)
And tomorrow, I will remind myself again, and do what I can.
I hope you do the same for yourself, because I doubt I am the only person feeling this way.