I just started working on a list of all the things I feel like I should be doing. I tried not to censor myself in writing it. I knew, as I was writing some of the items, much of it was my people-pleasing side showing herself, but I was feeling overwhelmed and wanted to see if this list could show me why.
I came up with a list of 21 things that I need to do daily or weekly. Some are big things. Some are tiny things. Some of the things I love. Some of the things are sucking the life blood out of me.
I’ve been rereading For The Love by Jen Hatmaker. Her chapter “Worst Beam Ever” talks about the elusive idea of balancing everything:
“Here is part of the problem, girls: we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories. No one constructed fairy-tale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered stimulating world-changing career, created stunning homes and yardscapes”. . . “served neighbors/church/world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior. You can’t balance that job description”. . . . “No one is pulling this off. The women who seem to ride this unicorn only display the best parts of their stories.”
Some things need to be removed from the list.
The things I’m saying, “yes” to only because I’m afraid of disappointing someone. The things I do only because no one else seems willing to step up. These are things I’m working on erasing from my list of Everything Amy Must Do.”
I’m an over-thinker and I tend to see all the steps and all the details and all the everything of everyone. It is my super-power and my kryptonite.
Do you want someone who can map out all the steps to make sure you know how much money to save for your family vacation? I’m your girl.
Do you want someone riding shotgun in your car who sees every upcoming lane-ending, cars merging, road hazard, traffic light turning red before you have a chance to pull out of the driveway? I’m your girl and I’m so, so, so sorry to my husband.
I’m awesome at vacation planning. I am also a horrible passenger in the car.
Backseat driving should come off my list ASAP or I should increase the marriage counseling budget.
Last week I had a moment of panic when I was trying to figure out how to provide a three-course meal for a good friend whose family eats gluten free and dairy free. I regretted all my life decisions that kept me from becoming an amazing cook who ground her own grain and made milk from magic beans. Then I had a moment of inspiration. It occurred to me that the point was to show my friend that she was loved and I could do that without a three-course meal. In fact, I did it by going to the store and buying chocolate, fruit, and some gluten-free cookies(not made by me).
I want to keep “bring food to my friends as needed” on my list. This only works if I allow myself the space and grace to allow myself to buy some of it already made/prepared from the store sometimes. Doing it at all is better than doing nothing because it couldn’t be perfect.
I’m pretty sure there are a lot of women who feel like they don’t measure up if what they have to offer isn’t pinterest-perfect. That’s why your list is killing you.
Listen, you can love your kids, you can make sure they get something to eat, you can stay connected with your friends and you can serve at your church. You just can’t give every single one of those things 100%.
You only have 100% to give. You can’t change the math.
Some days your 100% will look like remembering to put the clothes in the dryer before they rot, a Netflix date night with your husband, a sarcastic text to your friend, and a rotisserie chicken from WalMart to your church LifeGroup member who just had a baby.
Is it perfect? Nope. Is it sustainable? Yes!
What needs to come off your list? What items need to be edited on your list to keep you from rocking in a fetal position in the corner?