On Doing It All

by Nicole — May 23, 2011

Last weekend I went home to visit my parents. Somehow my mom and I got to talking about a woman from our hometown who wrote a book that basically made the point that women of my generation were always taught that we can do anything, but now we think that means that we have to do everything. (I’m sorry to say that I can’t remember the author or the title, if I find it out, I’ll come back and link it up.). I’m going through some changes in my life, and my mom wanted to reach out and let me know that it was okay if I choose not to do everything, and in particular, since she knows me, it’s okay not to do everything perfectly.

I find myself in this struggle often. I want to be perfect in my professional life, I want to be perfect (or strive for perfection) in my creative life, I feel the need for my family to constantly feel supported and loved by me, I always want to be present and aware with my friends (whether they’re going through tough times or we’re just out for a beer). I refuse to hire someone to come and help clean our apartment because I feel like that is something that we (I) should be able to do successfully without outside help. I am constantly telling my husband how I’d love to take up sewing lessons, so I could fix minor tears & make simple garments, or how I’d love to take yoga more seriously to really start to honor my body. In my fantasies, I’d be doing all of this, plus playing drums in a kick-ass rock band, and cooking full, well balanced meals everyday, plus raising my son to be smart, respectful, and overall a good, thoughtful person. We’d have a house in the country for weekends away and getting back in touch with nature and still have our apartment in the city for the culture and diversity that I love. In my deepest hopes for myself, I’d be able to accomplish all of this (and more! growing my own veggies! composting! opening an art gallery!) and do it gracefully and easily.

I have to remind myself, quite often, that life is long, and that there will be plenty of opportunity for me to do much of what I envision for myself. But that it doesn’t all have to come at once, and I don’t have to juggle it all alone or at the same time. I have to take deep breaths and see what I can accomplish in one day, and move on from that point, and not feel guilty about everything I didn’t get to, because tomorrow will be a different day with different goals.

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