The Moment I Realized I Don't Have To Do It all
It never fails, January rolls around and I need to get ALL the things done. I need to have all my resolutions for the year done, I need my house to be clean, I need to get rid of the junk, I need to be super mom, super wife, super hustler… I need to be it all. Or so I tell myself. It is only January 9th as I write this, but I have been feeling flustered, rushed, and overwhelmed. I’ve felt like a failure, unhappy, disappointed in myself and just overall crappy. Not because my husband thinks that or said anything about the state of our house, not because I’m busy with photography, not because Lilly is sick or fussing. No, all of this has landed on my shoulders because of me, myself, and I.
Lilly was on a daycare break from December 23- January 3, which isn’t that long, but in early December I got a HUGE photography gig that I had been stressing about. I needed to get photos for over 150 people (5-6 photos each) edited and sent off to them all before the New Year. Which in and of itself doesn’t seem all that bad, but what doesn’t work is that my editing time, my time to sit in front of my computer uninterrupted... disappeared. So naturally I was stressing about that. Not to mention that I had three other shoots (maternity, Christmas and couple portraits) to do right behind the large shoot. We’re talking upwards of 1,000 photos to get through, to edit, and to send off. So needless to say I was a bit overwhelmed.
Let me just add that Lilly is an angel and I loved having her home, but she isn’t one to let me sit at my computer for hours at a time and ignore her… what toddler is?
So on top of my pent up stress about the photos, I then made my resolutions which were not all that overwhelming. If you read them you can see that they’re long term goals. But what I didn’t add to that list are all the little things that I tell myself when a new year rolls around: get organized, declutter, clean your house, fix all the things in the house, clean out baby clothes, clean out your clothes, write more, advertise more, be better on social media…. you get the picture. My list of my failures and my need-to-do’s in my head is never-ending. So by the time Lil was headed back to daycare I was feeling pretty shitty.
I was so down and being so hard on myself. I felt like a bad mother, a bad wife, a bad blogger, a bad friend, a bad business woman… you name it and I was horrible at it (in my mind.) As much as I loved having baby girl home from school and as much as I love her in general, I was ready to get a few days back to myself. I was ready to have alone time to gather my thoughts, to do my tasks, and to feel better. Which brings me to Wednesday morning January 4, 2017.
5:45 am wakeup call… which is very unlike Lilly. She LOVES sleeping, and will sleep till 7 or 8 usually. So 5:45 is very early, we pull her into bed to all wake up slowly, or even better, fall back asleep. We did not fall back asleep. In fact I got poked in the eye, and I’m not talking a mild poke, I’m talking a fingernail to the cornea at mach 10 speed. It was an excruciating pain and my eye was flooding tears, I quickly realized I couldn’t open it and that today was not going to be the all productive day I had hoped for. No gym, no errands, no chores, I couldn’t effing see. My eye was pulsing, and I was in a lot of pain. My husband took Lil to daycare, and then took me to the doctor where they confirmed that I have a corneal abrasion and that there was pretty much nothing I could do about it. They put a contact in that acted like a bandaid and sent me home.
I was frustrated. Not at Lilly, not at anyone, but at myself. And what for!? I wasn’t being lazy, I wasn’t avoiding tasks because I just didn’t want to do them. I legitimately couldn’t do half the things I wanted to and I was still beating myself up over it.
So as I was sitting on the couch I came to this realization: I’m the reason I’m unhappy. I’m the reason I feel like shit and not because of my eye. I’ve put an amazing amount of stress and pressure on myself. To get all the things done in this invisible timeline that I’ve made for myself. No one will know, nor care, if I haven’t purged my whole household by January 10. No one will know or care if a broken light in the closet isn’t fixed yet, or if I haven’t learned Spanish and how to do a freestanding handstand yet. No one gives a damn but me. The moms on Instagram who have purged their house, who are planning meals for the month… I don’t have to be them and I need to remember that.
I don’t have to do it all.
I don’t have to be someone I’m not.
It’s okay for me to scale back, it’s okay for me to take time to do the things I want to do. There is no rush on life, there is no timeline. It’s more important for me to be happy, for me to do things well, for me to enjoy my life and my time with my daughter.
So for now, I’m going to do one thing at a time, and I’m going to take my time doing them. I’m going to start my new year by setting realistic expectations for myself and my day. I'm still in a funk, but that's okay. I can slowly get back to myself and to what I want to do. But Putting myself in this unhappy unsatisfied space is simply not okay. I’m going to accept my limits and I’m going to love myself for all that I already do in a day.
So for now, one day at a time.