In the middle of what, you ask?
In the middle of the should’s, the busyness, the must-do’s, the to-do list, alllll the responsibilities, and the happy place. The self-care. The relationships and the love. There is a beautiful place that sometimes, just sometimes, seems attainable. The days, weeks, or months, when most things, (not everything, because that’s not realistic) but most things get accomplished, productivity is high and also we’ve found time for self-care, connection, fun, and community. Doesn’t that sound nice? I’d like to live in that happy place! A pipe dream? Maybe, but I believe sometimes we can find a place in the middle. And every day, “the middle” looks just a little different.
How the heck do we balance it all? One thing I’ve figured out for myself FOR SURE, is that true balance is impossible. The phrase (which I’ve said many times in the past) “I’m trying to find work-life balance” now makes me cringe. The idea of “balance” is B.S. Chasing that idea only creates unrealistic expectations and sets us up for disappointment and self-criticism. I “should” be able to handle it all, I “should” do this, that, or the other, or all of it simultaneously. Ha. Life will truly never be balanced. One thing or another will always take priority. And that’s ok! And great! The “should’s” and “want to’s”, leave us feeling empty, disconnected, or disappointed if we don’t get it all done.
Ok, well then what? Well then… figure out what makes the most sense for you, today, or this hour, or this minute. Life is a series of thoughts, decisions, and actions. It’s all about choice, prioritization, and being present. Each day, each hour, and each moment provides another opportunity to consider what matters most to you, and how you want to spend your time. Yes, of course, we all have responsibilities, some of which matter more than others. As I sit here writing this, I have 17 other things on my to-do list that I probably “should” be doing. And I will. But in this moment, I wanted to write. It’s been awhile. And it fills me up. So, in this moment, I choose to write and the rest can wait.
Ok, well then what if all things don’t get done? What if I’m not doing enough self-care? How do I pick? What if, what if, what if. Well, then what if? So what? What happens if you didn’t get it all done? Did the world end? I doubt it. Is the house messy? Maybe. Mine is. Did you have fun today, is your bucket filled up? I sure hope so! If you consider your choices and things didn’t go as planned, that’s ok, that’s great! Guess what? You probably learned something and can take that with you the next time you get to make a choice – which will be today. Just don’t dwell on what didn’t get done, or what went wrong.
THE KEY, no matter how you choose to prioritize your time is this: CHOOSE something, and then 1. Actually DO it. Do the thing, make the call, spend the time. Do not: procrastinate, overthink, worry, get distracted, numb, or scroll (I know you know what I mean). Just do it (insert Nike swoosh). 2. Perhaps most importantly, OWN it. Past thinking and regret serve no one. Not you, not anyone, ever. Give yo-self a damn break! Treat yourself kindly, like you would a friend. Learn, move on and do better. Worried future thinking causes anxiety. Trust me I’m familiar with this one. Own your choices, be proud, and move the f on. Perhaps that confidence is something that comes with a few trips around the sun. But the earlier you can realize everyone is just doing the best they can, and people are more worried about getting through their own day (and not focused on your every move) the better your life will be. I promise.
Hang in there friends. I see you. We’re all in this crazy boat together, and I hope you have a great day. Get some shit done, take care of yourself, and enjoy whatever “the middle” (or left or right of center) looks like for you today.