On: Accepting That I Can't Have It All
I am a dreamer and an optimist. I am also a mother, wife, employee, friend, sister, and teacher. There are many things that I care about so passionately. There are many projects, many relationships, many obligations, many wishes.
One of my biggest failings is how guilty I feel ALL THE TIME for not achieving everything on my many lists.
Most of you know that I started www.carefullyworn.com about a year ago and haven't posted anything in months. I have painting commissions that are half a year behind. I intend to blog here biweekly and only manage once a month. I need to make new fall clothing items like you would not believe so I can stop rotating through the same four shirts. I am also deep in the middle of building an online family photo archive that is only seeing the rare update these days.
I don't even have time to think about that stuff because more urgently, I haven't washed Molly's laundry for daycare tomorrow. Or done the dishes. Or cleaned the toilet. Or gone to meet our new neighbours. Or emailed my best friend. And I hurt my back yesterday and just spent two days basically stuck on the couch.
Last week my dentist was guilt tripping me for not flossing often enough and I ended up wailing "But I don't even get to SHOWER every day! YOU THINK I DON'T WISH I WAS CLEAN AND FLOSSED?" (Hahaha, it's hilarious that I let them think I get to shower every OTHER day...)
I do. I wish I was clean, flossed, smugly painting away beside a pile of neatly folded daycare clothes while I inwardly write blog posts about how great my life is.
But it's okay. It's all about choices. We make big and tiny choices all day and when I sit down and think it through, I feel comfortable with the choices I make and the outcome: not having it all.
Here is the reality:
- I am sometimes choosing alone time over sleep and it makes me have dark circles under my eyes that I wish I had time to put makeup on. This alone time is mostly spent reading or playing video games and that's ok. Reading = Sanity.
- There are a bunch of body parts that hurt still from childbirth and I have chosen to fill my "Amanda's Personal Projects" day with doctor appointments over accomplishing any of my personal projects.
- I pick giving Molly and Finn my attention over almost every other task, including showering, flossing, laundry, appropriately spaced bathroom breaks, cooking, answering emails, checking my phone, and sleep. I wouldn't say I have no regrets about this....
- I am sometimes choosing sleep/showering over flossing and the dentist will just need to get over it.
Sometimes I dream so big and in my head I have opened a dozen small businesses, or devoted all my time to a flourishing art career, or volunteered my time more, or spent more time on fitness, or cooked more meals for my family, or at least not quasi-abandoned all the projects I love and am passionate about.
It's hard some days to accept not having it all. Especially when I go on instagram or facebook and everyone's life is like a perfect fairy tale. Not that I blame you all for posting the best of your lives, I do it too. It's easy to just let cute pictures of Molly be the side of my life that is public, instead of admitting that I am in constant pain, or haven't showered, or just got yelled at by my dentist, or just lost my cool at Molly or Finn, or someone just asked if I am pregnant (I'm not), or even that I am just so tired. I don't want to fixate on those things.
The point of this rambling monologue is: I am trying to just accept who I am and how my life is. This is a stage. In this stage, I can be happy. I am happy being with Molly. I am happy being at a part time job I love that lets me come home and fully absorb myself in family. I am happy being a dreamer and optimist, and I will keep dreaming until I have time to actually tackle projects again. I am happy with my friendships, and my new house, and my dog, and my books. I'm probably gonna have to go buy some fall clothes instead of sewing them, let some projects slide, order take-out, and insist on more regular showers (no skimping on being clean. It's the BEST).
Any tips for prioritizing? Or even sympathy from other people in the same mental place? I can't be the only one feeling like this!!