Here’s the empowerment phrase I hate the most right now: YOU CAN DO IT ALL!
Sure, I read that and think YES, I CAN HAVE EVERYTHING I WANT and do it all flawlessly! LET’S DO IT! Then I set out into the world and realize after one day of a clean house, a workout, food on the table, a grocery store run and a full day of work that I’m freaking exhausted. Followed by exhaustion is usually a feeling of overwhelming guilt for being so wiped and having zero motivation to be an involved friend or wife. Being able to do it all? IT’S A FANTASY. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that, without help, it is impossible to go to work, do the laundry, cook meals, work out, take care of kids, have any sort of hobby, be a good friend, have quality time with your significant other AND maintain your personal sanity.
Sure, my goal is to have dinner on the table after a full day of work, a workout that fits in my schedule, a clean house and a small business that I’m trying to grow. Don’t come at me parents, I know, I know. Adding kids to the mix makes my brain want to explode. I’m only one person. Sure, we may have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé (I HATE THAT QUOTE TOO) but you know what she also has? Help. So maybe my husband ate fast food for dinner and I ate salad out of a bag last night. Know what we had with that? Conversation and quality time. Why? Because DANG IT, I went to yoga. I wasn’t rushing to the store, rushing to get dinner ready, or rushing to clean up before bed. I’m better and more engaged with my husband after a little zen.
We have an insane number of choices to make every day. Sometimes time forces us to choose between something you want to do or something you feel like you SHOULD do. Do you curl up in bed for an hour and watch Dateline or tackle the pile of dishes sitting in the sink? FILL YOURSELF UP. Take the time to do something that makes you a better you. Recharge. Cancel all of your social plans for the week, sit at home and do NOTHING. You are a better you when your own cup is full…you can’t pour from an empty cup. You cannot give your best self to anything else in your life when you’re running on empty.
I’ve spent a lot of time feeling guilty about my self-care. Mainly because for me, that means I’ve been cooking less, going to bed with dishes in the sink and yes, that pile of laundry I need to fold has been staring at me for like a week.
The notion that we should be able to do everything all at once while running on empty is a CRAZY FANTASY. It’s not real. We are not robots. I’m also willing to bet that finishing your to-do list instead of taking time to yourself won’t feel as good as you think it will. There will be another set of things we need to get done tomorrow and we’ll be facing those new items feeling deflated instead of energized, empowered and strong.
There’s no medal at the end of life for who had the cleanest house, who cooked every single day and who folded their laundry while it was still hot out of the dryer. Invest that time in your family, your friends and YOURSELF with no regrets.