Today I am choosing to write a short narrative, so bear with me.
I have a problem. I can’t keep up. Or at least I feel like I can’t.
As I sit here drafting up this post on a Monday evening, I take a look around:
- Baby books scattered at the end of the couch.
- A pile of clean clothes from the dryer that need to be folded, but are still in the laundry basket.
- A bag full of ingredients for my planned food prepping afternoon still sitting on the counter. Didn’t happen.
- Random baby toys still lingering on the ottoman.
- Four empty frames leaning on the wall, waiting for me to finally print their future photos.
- Two pairs of shoes just hanging out in the corner of the room. Haven’t worn either in a few days.
- Chipped nail polish. You know my feelings on that one.
I could easily continue, but I think you get the picture. Sometimes I have days where I’m feeling on top of the world. Everything runs smoothly, I get my daily checklist of tasks completed, Thomas has great naps, I have time to put makeup on before leaving the house, and I eat like a registered dietician would tell me to. Hey, I might even hammer out a last minute blog post for good measure.
Then there are days like today when pretty much nothing on my to-do list gets accomplished.
Sometimes when I read blogs or even just talk to friends, I fall into somewhat of a comparison trap. The multitasking and productivity of some people honestly amazes me. And I refuse to blame it on having a child. Maybe for the first couple of months it was an acceptable excuse (in my mind), but not anymore. If anything, I think I’ve learned to be more productive and conscious of my free time.
I guess I struggle with the whole concept of ‘fitting it all in’. On an -almost- daily basis, I find myself repeatedly thinking the same things:
- My house isn’t tidy enough.
- How does that mother of four (all under age 6) make it to the gym every.single.day?
- It would be fun to actually make one of the 300 recipes I have pinned or bookmarked.
- I should read more books.
- I should be in bed already.
- Didn’t I just clean the bathroom?
- To Do List: 10, Kelly: 2
Sometimes it can be really overwhelming. It makes me feel guilty. Why can’t I keep up? Why can’t I fit it all in like _(insert inspirational person’s name here)_ does?
I was asking myself these questions today while out for a walk with Thomas, and it made me wonder… Do you think it’s actually possible to ‘fit it all in’? Do you think we can actually reach that moment where we look at our life and say, “There! I’m done! Everything is perfect!”? The more I think about it, the more I question whether or not the notion of fitting it all in is ever truly achievable.
Now, I know that sounds a bit pessimistic, but I don’t necessarily mean it in a negative way.
We all prioritize differently. For example, today I chose to spend two hours on exercise: getting myself and Thomas ready, driving to and from bootcamp, and partaking in the actual 1-hour workout. You know that expression, “A Workout Is Only 4% of Your Day”? Liars! Maybe just the ‘workout’ part! Start adding in all the other factors, and watch that daily percentage sky rocket. I also had about two hours worth of cleaning to do. That didn’t happen. I had intended to tackle the required chores, but I just didn’t fit it in today. Of course I wasn’t sitting around watching TV with my feet up (wouldn’t that be nice). I was busy all day long, but still feel frustrated with myself for not accomplishing everything on my ‘list’.
Someday, I want to be like ‘Suzy’. She’s always on her A game. She’s always in shape, always has a tidy home, always has fresh flowers on the table, always cheering at her kids’ soccer games, always has baked goods in the oven, always makes time for her girlfriends, always receives positive feedback from her boss and clients, always volunteers, always plans the best vacations, always walks her dog, always schedules date nights with her husband, always looks put together, always has a home cooked meal on the table…
I think everyone has a Suzy. And that’s the thing. Even Suzy has a Suzy. I think there are very few people in our society who can look at themselves and say, “I’m perfect.” Is it beneficial to look to others for inspiration and motivation? Definitely! How else are we able to grow and develop ideas for improving our own lives? Nothing is wrong with a little healthy comparison to give us a necessary kick in the pants. However, let’s not let comparison bring us down. I know it may seem like Suzy fits it all in. But Suzy doesn’t think so. Although she is great at prioritizing her time, she’s still aiming for more, just like you and I.
The idea of ‘fitting it all in’ somewhat stresses me out. It can lead to disappointment. Instead of recognizing our accomplishments, we criticize and focus on our faults. Why do we do this? Perhaps we just try to take on too much, only to end up disappointed in ourselves for not accomplishing ‘enough’.
Keep looking to improve? Of course. Keep looking to ‘keep up’? I think this is where problems arise.
For the amount of time I spend feeling guilty about my lack of completion, I could have cleaned twenty toilets, cooked a 5-course dinner, and trained for a marathon. Time for a reality check.
We need to make a greater effort at being more positive and proud of the things we DO accomplish in the run of a day, rather than dwell on those that were unfortunately brushed under the rug. It’s no way to live. Besides, when you stop and think about it, it’s very likely that each and every one of us is actually someone else’s Suzy.