Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me.
In any given day, there is that inevitable moment: the one where I realize I am dropping the proverbial ball.
I want to do all things. BE all things.
–A wife who dotes on her husband so he might realize how amazing he is, how much he is loved, and how wonderful life is with him in it.
–A mother who expertly walks the delicate balance between tough and pure love while teaching her son how to succeed, fail, respect others, challenge himself, dream big, be realistic, and thrive in this crazy world so he might one day change it for the better.
–A daughter who is not too wrapped up in this current life to appreciate the woman who gave it to her.
–A sister who never forgets to thank her siblings for the memories, laughter, and unconditional support.
–A niece who feels blessed to have funny, loving, caring, and giving women who are not only aunts but friends.
–An aunt who loves her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children.
–A friend who has time to listen, help, advise, laugh, and simply be there when needed.
–A writer who understands the purpose of her words and the need to share them.
–A woman who is all things for all people – one who never wavers, has the right answers, provides eternal praise, rarely criticizes, never hurts another, does not judge, always knows what to say, puts herself first, dresses impeccably, maintains a spotless home, prepares gourmet meals, never forgets an appointment/grocery item/to do item, is always on time, and all the while making it seem effortless.
Of course, this is a fantasy. Succeeding in one area of my life often means I am struggling in another. And to be honest, I am okay with that. Struggle is a part of life and as long as I am not failing completely in any given area, then I am fine.
It simply is not possible to be all things to all people all of the time. It is not only unrealistic and exhausting but impossible to perform at top speed and perfection every minute of every day.
I have learned to give myself two beautiful gifts: patience and compassion. And once I willingly accepted those gifts, I realized something: I am everything I hope to be. For even when I am not consciously performing some act to prove it, I am all of those things. They are part of me.
I have not lowered my standards, but I refuse to set too high of expectations. I no longer push myself to work toward something I will never master. More importantly, I do not even want to. I have learned:
7 Ways To Simply BE
- FACE REALITY – Take a ruthless look at your schedule and decrease the load wherever possible. Do not be afraid to say no! If letting things go is not an option, work to make it more manageable by simplifying tasks.
- BE PROACTIVE – Beware of the trap, the one where you juggle multiple things and seem to be doing well. Inevitably, a ball will drop and when it falls, it will fall hard and possibly shatter. Look for ways to lessen the stress before it is too late.
- SET PRIORITIES – Sometimes one area of life will require all of your time and effort. Focus on health, family members, education, career, etc. as needed. And once life is on track, carefully widen the circle to include the people and things you missed.
- REACH OUT – Let others know when you are overwhelmed. Ask for patience (or forgiveness). And if someone offers, do not be afraid to accept help.
- ANALYZE – Is leisure time being used wisely? Technology can be a huge benefit but it can also be a tool for procrastination or avoidance. Cutting back on screen usage (TV, phone, computer) can free up time for health, quality interactions, a hobby, etc.
- DIVIDE AND CONQUER – Consider working on one area of your life and once it is under control, move onto another. The nice thing here is that you completely focus on something you hope to organize and improve for a short time and then once it has become easier to manage, you tackle another one with equal and dedicated attention.
- ACKNOWLEDGE – Realize how much you actually accomplish. It is pretty amazing when you look closely at the things you do during one day. Make a comprehensive list – include everything, no matter how small. You will be amazed at all you do. An added bonus? It will show how time is spent and reveal areas to improve or simplify.
Balancing every aspect of life is not easy and as we pass through each new stage, the path only becomes more difficult to navigate. Even when life comes at us fast and hard, however, we can enjoy it. The key?
Show yourself kindness. Be patient and compassionate. Discover how to live this crazy, beautiful life on your own terms. Just BE.