I was talking to one of my homeschool mom friends the other day and we were talking about scheduling, cleaning, schooling and juggling.
Inwardly, I laughed as we talked. Why? Because her story echoes my story.
Later that day I ran into another friend who explained why she was late. Her story involved 4 kids, a new house, a dead battery and a lost wallet.
Inwardly, I laughed as she talked. Why? Because her story echoes my story.
Too much on our plates, too much on our minds. Trying to live our lives to the absolute fullest.
Trying to have it all.
Back when I was a nursing assistant at a nursing home I was continually frustrated by my workload. I was constantly trying to figure out how to get all of the things I was supposed to get done accomplished in the correct amount of time. I thought I was slow, I thought if I could get a better system, I could get it all done. One day, I sat down and timed out all my tasks. I realized that it was clearly physically impossible to meet the expectations. Once I figured out that it wasn't me that was inefficient, that it was simply never all going to get done, I was able to relax a little bit more.
Over the years I have stubbornly held to the belief that I can do it all, and can do it all well. But I am finally to the point where I realize that it is physically impossible to do it all.
What things should I give up? I have been giving that question a lot of thought. I have been streamlining some processes in my life, thinking about eliminating some of my more stressful activities, and that is all well and good but it is not going to completely take care of the situation.
I can work on it, I can continally try to relax, try to not over schedule, try to slow down.
But that is not me.
It is simply not who I am.
I can change part of it, but not all of it.
If I wasn't homeschooling, I would be working more, volunteering or organizing fun preschool activities and playgroups for my girls.
If I didn't have 5 children of my own, I would be offering to watch friend's kids, tutoring, helping out at the homeless shelter.
If I didn't volunteer at church, I would volunteer somewhere else.
If I didn't run, I would walk.
I have a whole list of things that I am doing, but I also have a whole list of things that I would like to do. The world is full of opportunities, and I am not one to sit on the couch and miss them.
My mom told me to prioritize everything that I do, with 5s being the highest priority, and then to only hang on to the 4's and 5's. The problem is, everything that I do IS a 4 or a 5. You should see my list of 1's, 2's and 3's that are on the back burner right now.
So I am going to continue to keep prioritizing, keep simplifying what I can, but I am also going to remember my motto, "If I can finish all my day's work in a day, then I am not dreaming big enough".
Dreaming, reaching for more, trying to make things better, is part of who I am. I just have to figure out how to do it without losing my purse. And my mind.