Hey. It's been a while since we've chatted. I hope you are doing well. Me, I'm hanging in there, but life has been more than a little full lately. Between school, work, kids, travel, visiting family, and just normal life stuff, lots of non-urgent things have fallen by the wayside. I've been basically treading water, constantly moving in order to keep my head above water, but not feeling like I'm actually getting anywhere. Plus, I'm seeing all the fun things I wish I could be doing, but I know I can't spend my time there right now. When things get crazy like this, I know I have two choices.
Option one is that I could feel bad for what I'm not able to do, put pressure on myself to get them done anyway, and then feel guilty when I can't do it. I could look at my self-worth as based on my accomplishments, and therefore feel worthless when I don't check things off my list. This mentality is a downward spiral, because of course you often cannot check everything off your list. Every time you leave something undone, your self-esteem takes a hit. It doesn't matter that you took care of your children, you listened to your spouse vent about a bad day, you cooked for your family, you rubbed your child's back when he couldn't get to sleep, you helped your daughter with her homework, and you resisted the urge to dive into a pint of ice cream face-first the instant you shut your child's bedroom door. None of that matters, because you didn't get the laundry done, and that undone task overshadows all the wonderful and valuable things you did get done. Not to mention the fact that that to-do list tends to get longer and longer, as you try harder and harder to feel like you are earning your spot on this earth.
Or I could go with option two. I could accept my current situation, remember that my full life is a blessed life, and that all I have to do today is my best. My best doesn't mean perfect. My best doesn't mean squeezing everything in. My best just means I showed up. This mentality is actually a lot harder, because it's scarier. It means presenting a version of yourself to the world that isn't flawless. It means being vulnerable. It means risking criticism. Despite that, it's the option I am choosing to embrace. I am choosing to recognize that I am a bit of a mess right now, and I simply can't get everything done. Instead of feeling guilt and shame over that, I am choosing to accept it, and remember that I don't have to proof anything to anyone. I don't have to earn anyone's approval. I am worthy regardless of what I do or don't get done, or how many times I don't listen to my husband or only pretend to watch the fortieth time my child asks me to watch him dig a hole. A hole, for pity's sake. I mean, come on. I am worthy to be on this earth no matter how much of a mess I am.
The thing is, you guys, that as scary as it is, there is something so liberating with option two. There's a freedom in allowing yourself to be exhausted, or stressed out, or overwhelmed. Because once you allow yourself to feel your mess, without judging it, you can then do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You can go take a nap, or cry, or go ahead and eat that ice cream instead of resisting it. Bonus, your friends and family will be able to support you. When you're trying to pretend everything's fine, you don't get the support you need because no one knows you need it. So I'm going to go embrace my hot mess, and you embrace yours. I'll think of you when I'm devouring my ice cream tonight.
It's nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog. My name is Amy, and my husband and I have three lively kids. We are so happy to share our journey with you. Come along as we learn to embrace the messiness of life, and maybe chase a dream or two along the way.