The Magical Key to Doing It All
Yeah, I'm lying, but you knew that already. Here's the truth though; the key to doing it all is deciding what "all" means.
Each of you has the capacity to do what's important to you, but there's no way that can include everything. If you expect a perfectly clean house, manicured yard, homemade food on the table every night supplied from your flourishing vegetable garden, a fulfilling job, margin for personal creativity, community with friends and family, involvement in the community, 60 minutes of daily exercise, time to read and watch TV, and all the other things you think you should do, you'll literally become an insane person.
But what's the solution? Being you. And your "all" looks different then mine or anyone else's.
Here's how I "do it all" based on what's important to me:
- We have dinner together every night. || That means not experimenting as much with new recipes or being willing to order pizza if I'm feeling crazy. But we always sit down together for dinner because that's the important part.
- We focus on our home. || It's not fancy or expensive or even clean, but the point of our home is to be a welcoming, comfortable place for our kids and our friends. I spend time making it feel that way.
- I write. || Most of my free time goes to this very website. If I didn't write, I would fall apart, and so would everything else.
- I sit with my kids while they do homework and read. || My husband works for the public school system, so we love education and our kids being excited about learning. That means that when it's homework time or when a kid wants me to read to/with them, I do it no matter what.
- I text and vox. || Being a good friend doesn't mean you have to meet with every person over coffee on a regular basis. Yes, that's lovely when it happens, but for me, I try and stay as connected as I can as often as I'm able by texting and voxing friends to let them know I'm thinking about them. Those bits of communication can fit in the cracks when a day has no space, but my friends still know they get all my heart eyes.
- I watch TV. || Every. Single. Day. And I have zero shame in that.
Here are the things I sometimes feel I should do but don't in order to leave room for what makes me come alive:
- regularly clean my house || I clean off surfaces and sweep floors daily-ish. Everything else happens when I feel like it or when we have a few extra bucks to hire a maid for a deep clean.
- coupon, shop around, or have a garden || It's not that we have a lot of money (we do NOT), but my brain can't handle savings saturation or tending soil.
- volunteer in my kids' classrooms || I'll supply wipes and crayons when they're requested and I'll donate until the day is long, but I don't give my time.
- get involved in several kinds of community || We have a handful of families we invite for dinner when the urge hits, and Kaz and I are both part of small committees at our church that meet once a month. But there are no Bible studies, extra volunteering, mom groups, book clubs, or Junior Leagues to be found.
- DIY stuff || We're currently putting an addition on our house, and we've hired out every single thing. I have also refinished zero pieces of old furniture. It's all new, and if it's used, it doesn't need any extra attention.
Hopefully you're encouraged that I absolutely do not do it all, and you don't have to either. Sure, one day some of my items will switch places; life changes, so don't feel badly for changing with it. That doesn't make you a failure, just human. So define your "all," do those things, and start getting comfortable dropping the rest.
You're already sacrificing something, and more than likely, it's your sanity. There's a better way.