I ate the same lunch for fifteen years. You can say I can be a creature of habit and like my routines. Doing this blog and my podcast is part of my routine. Life does not follow routines. I visited my family and despite bringing my computer did not get my podcast done, but I did complete my blog. Hooray! Last weekend, I went on a family vacation and did not get either done. Cue feeling like a failure. I have been on vacation. Protip - if you are beating yourself up for not hitting your #VacationGoals, you may need to rethink vacation. I was supposedly to be working on all the things I didn't get done because I was working which doesn't make sense if vacation is supposed to be renewing. There were so many things that I could do with my time but I often abdicated my decision-making to fighting fires. Lack of structure was giving me decision fatigue. I let other people's needs be the basis for my choices. I was struggling with what to do with my time and creating this blog and my podcast weighed heavily on me.
If you follow this blog, you know I have been experimenting with planning and my vacation was supposed to be when I would have all this time to make those plans. I have spent most of my vacation beating myself up for not doing all the things I planned and fretting that once again, I would fail to produce a blog and podcast. I got inspiration last night and recorded the podcast and decided that today I would write this post. I also notice that many other podcasts or content creators give themselves permission to take a break to renew. I do not have to be industrious every waking moment of my life. That my youngest child feels guilty for playing video games and I have to encourage him to take breaks tells me that I am probably not being a very good example. If I treated employees like I treated myself, I would probably be voted Worst Place to Work. How do I balance getting things done with the need to renew?
Have you ever read or watched something and it does not sink in? I realized that I have been very antisocial and that it probably not good for me and started to reach out to my friends. Turns out many of us are struggling. One of them shared a book and mentioned there was a Ted Talk when I told them that another book was triggering all the books that I am supposed to be reading that I am not reading. Turns out, I had watched that TedTalk! I watched it, but it may as well have been in another language. I watched it again and it was very timely and helpful. I needed to give myself grace and redefine success. I paused and recognized the very things that I had accomplished. We had a wonderful time as a family. All the clothes were cleaned. I had released at least two trash bags of delayed decisions. I had breakfast with a dear friend today who reminded me that I am not an island and part of a community. Both of us trusting each other with our struggles was cathartic. I am doing my best and my best varies from day to day. You don't have to do this alone. My friends are helping me be accountable AND reminded me to give myself grace.
Where do I go from here? First, I am going to celebrate the wins. I have most of my personal health goals completed as planned. Many of the activities that I have done are adjacent to my goals. This will take planning and following my whims can only get me so far. It is important to gauge my energy and not try and carry everything. If you load a grocery bag past what it can bear, it can tear and you end up with broken glass and a mess. My friend and I spoke about being selfish. It has a negative connatation. Merriam-Webster defines it as "concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself; seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others." Regard is defined as "a protective interest." I am honing in on the "or" in the definition of selfish. I think that being concerned exclusively with onself and having a protective interest in oneself is not a bad thing sometimes. Making time for me and understanding my limits and capabilities will help me to refill my cup so that I can pour out love for myself and the people I care about. I am going to enjoy my family this weekend and I hope you all take the time you need for yourself. Give yourself the grace to carry what you can and put down the load when you are tired. It will be there when you are ready to pick it up. Namaste