OK, so, for the record, I haven’t turned into some Life Coach Guru! But I am a busy woman who understands that many other women are tired, overworked, stressed and overwhelmed. So this post is not your typical real estate, pretty house pictures or ‘How-To’ lists. It’s my message that when you think you’re failing miserably, you are not, and when life gets you down, you are not alone.
Keeping your Shit Together
I know many women working so hard to keep everything together, the perfect job, the perfect figure, the perfect kids the perfect home, and I know they look at other women and think, “WOW, she’s really got her shit together!”. The truth of the matter is, no one has their shit together. They may be good at pretending, but behind closed doors we all lose it at one time or another.
Until we start realizing that we can only achieve so much at any one time and stop judging others or comparing ourselves to others, life is going to continue like the proverbial hamster wheel, a never-ending of barrage of tasks, appointments, to-do lists and trying to keep up with everyone else.
Many of you who know me well, know that I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I am always on the move, always have a project on the go, always in the car rushing to wherever I need to be at that particular time. Ridiculously crazy busy, so much so that things often become overwhelming and the more I do, the more people want of me. The more I help, the more help they expect.
The fact of the matter is that being busy is not good thing. Juggling the multitude of balls has got tiring, stressful and negatively affects the areas in my life that I crave more time to enjoy.
I’ll be honest, I used to love comments like “How do you do it?’”or “I could never do what you do”, because I saw it as some kind of validation, that I was frigging awesome! Some Superwoman, Super Mom! Those comments are now telling me something very different.
The fact is, I, like many women, wear so many hats that I have forgotten about the person who is beneath them.
So, instead of others asking ‘How do I do it?’, I’m starting to ask myself, ‘Why am I doing it?’ – It’s hard, seriously hard when you have spent years programming yourself to be one thing and then realizing that one thing you have been working on is not what’s best for you.
I see life exactly as it is, a fleeting moment and we are all just a small insanely insignificant piece of it. I have always told myself nothing is out of reach, you want it, go and get it. But my drive has driven me too far and I want off the ride!
The biggest thing that scares me is getting to the end of my life not having done the things I wanted to do – honestly, I really worry about it!. The truth is, being scared of not achieving stifles and spoils the actual achieving part.
On the advice on my Personal Trainer/Life Coach (yep, I have one of those), I had to write a list of everything I have done and things I still wanted to do. I’m not talking bucket list here, not swimming with dolphins or climbing Kilimanjaro, but everyday life goals, those benchmarks you wanted to reach to make your life the one you imagined – I urge you to do this, because we get so side tracked in doing ‘stuff’ and chasing opportunities we forget about what we have actually achieved.
On a recent meeting I shared with her that I had taken her advice and completed the task she recommended. You know what I found out? – At 46 years old there is nothing in my life goals that I haven’t achieved. There’s plenty of experience’s I still want to see and do, but all in all I’m doing pretty well on the life goal thing. The sad thing is, I had to write this list to truly appreciate what I have accomplished.
“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy”.
– Sheryl Sandberg
We are told we can do it all. It is sold to us through media, books and celebrities, but we simply can’t do it and we shouldn’t feel like bad people because the day didn’t go perfectly. It’s ok if we had crazy bed hair for the entire afternoon, wore our blouse inside out (I have done this) or had to grab a MacDonald’s combo supper on the run (please Lord forgive my culinary sins).
So as a sister in the trenches I want all women to know, we can’t achieve everything, we can’t be everything to everyone, we don’t always look great naked, we don’t always fit into a size 6 and we can’t go from CEO to Soccer Mom to Michelin Star Chef to Sex Goddess in the space of 24 hours.
Find your Inner Peace
Be easy on yourself, learn to say no. Take the time to evaluate your life and take stock. Make those changes when things don’t work for you. Those who love you will support your need for self-assessment and change, those that don’t support it are not enriching your life.
Trust me those really critical folks, the ones who look like they have everything ‘together’ – well it’s those people who lost their entire shit bucket a long time ago.
To conclude, those who look at me and wonder how I get stuff done – I very often don’t. I worry insanely about things I shouldn’t be even thinking about, and most importantly I worry about letting others down. All I have been doing, for many years, is putting others needs before my own and seriously letting myself down.
I am having to make some pretty radical changes in my life and through my journey I have had to have some uncomfortable conversations to find the me that got lost quite some time ago.
So, over the next few weeks and months there will be some changes I look forward to making. To simplify my life and have more time back for me. I have managed to achieve some pretty awesome things, attained life goals and even wrangled a few bucket list items into the mix over the past few years – but concentrating on the things that mean something to me, my children, my marriage, my business, my clients and myself are my top priorities moving forward.
So if you have relaxed and not achieved very much today, not prepared a home cooked meal or the house is in an up-side-down mess, don’t feel bad – you’re awesome! It simply means, at this moment, this time in your life, chilling and doing absolutely nothing is exactly what you’re meant to be doing .
“You can not be put on hold. Everything else can be” – Melanie Press