How do you do it all?
As I sit down to write this, I have just finished a walk while listening to Kristin Tippet’s podcast with Brene Brown, which I highly recommend.
Two things struck me as I started the walk. The first is that I actually questioned myself as to whether it was okay to go for a 30 minute walk during the work day. Crazy right? And secondly, listening to Brene Brown made me realize how much shame women put on themselves for perfection, over the top productivity while looking great (size 6 or lower please) and to make it look easy. I realized that I am part of this group of women (well I am no longer a size 6) who is shaming myself … ugh! I suddenly remembered a presentation that I gave years ago at a networking group I belong to. There were a list of questions I had to fill out ahead of time, and the answers are read as an introduction. One of the questions was, “What is your burning desire?” My burning desire was to know that what I do is enough – BING! And guess what? It hasn’t changed, and it definitely puts me in the same category of most women. But it also shows that if I had that confidence, maybe I would have bigger desires and more peace in my life.
To be honest, I feel emotionally exhausted a lot of the time and wonder why. My mother wants to bang my head against the wall whenever I begin wondering why I’m tired. She says, “Natalie, with the amount you have on your plate, why WOULDN’T you be tired?” We all have our plates but seem to justify the fullness of them and compare our insides with other people’s outsides. Here is my list and my justifications on why my life should be easy and why I should be a size 4, stress free with tons of energy!! I hope you find this amusing…
My Life – My Husband has MS.
My Justification – Well, it is stable right now and my house is getting cleaned twice a month!
Reality – I am constantly reminded of the struggle, I am waiting for the shoe to drop and I am a caregiver! By the way, you have to clean for the cleaner!
My Life – I am Owner of Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC.
My Justification – Things are going well and I try and leave at 3:30pm some days (very hard not to feel shameful about).
Reality – I am a business owner, which comes with stress. I have 11 mouths to feed, am constantly taking risks and making overwhelming decisions, and oh yeah … we are having our payroll audited this week.
My Life – I have 2 teenage girls.
My Justification – They are great. and at least they aren’t in softball.
Reality – Though they are awesome, smart girls and loving girls, they are two more people in my household who need their mom to be present, find their clean gym clothes and be a role model for them.
So, I am finally understanding that even though there is so much to be grateful for in my life, there is a lot of stress that is like a dull pain that I get used to and does not go away. That stress consumes my decisions, how I feel about those decisions and how I take care of myself. I know it is extremely important to take care of myself first before others, so that I have the strength and health when I’m needed the most, but it is so hard to do it and feel okay about that. Well, here is my recipe for life … always shoot for a goal, and we will see if things get better!
- Workout 4-5 times per week (there is a reason they call it WORK)
- Appointment with a good therapist at least once a month, whether I feel I need it or not
- Feel good about the fact that my house gets professionally cleaned and my lawn is taken care of
- Massage and Pedi once a month
- Just me and nature at least once a month (no one else)
- Do things that fill me up… like snuggle time with my puppy!
There are a few other ideas I have and will be experimenting with all of it. The most important thing is working on being “ok” with all the things I do just for ME … realizing that what I do is “enough” and who I am is who I need to honor.
I hope this inspires you to be brave and do what you need to do for YOU!