All the Things
Who remembers this episode where Rose tries to do all the things?
ALL THE FREAKIN’ THINGS!
How often do you get the feeling that you’re not doing enough or you could always take on one more thing? Sometimes it’s an internal pressure and sometimes it’s because you see what everyone else appears to be doing. Rose clearly did not do prioritizing and instead, just tried to take it all on. And what happened as a result? Well…
The point of this post isn’t to encourage you to prioritize because eventually you will run yourself ragged (and possibly very sick - though that’s a good takeaway!) It’s really just about choices and prioritizing the things in your life that are most important, which is especially difficult when it seems like people around us are able to seamlessly do all the things we’re trying so desperately to do.
It doesn’t even have to be in the grand scheme of things. It could be one of the thoughts I have constantly on repeat in my head:
The house isn’t tidy.
It’s not something I don’t know. I’m aware of it all the time. I’m slightly embarrassed when people come to my house because I’m so painfully aware of it. I know some people can’t fathom how our house could so often be in such disarray (usually from people who don’t have kids, who forgot what it was like or who are judgmental, but I digress.)
I know people who (seem to) have incredibly neat homes all the time. Walking into them I think, good god! How does it stay like this? Don’t you get tired? Don’t you ever feel lazy? What, do you have 37 hours in your day while I only have 24?! Then, I start to feel bad, as though what I’m doing is not enough. You should be able to keep up with all the things, Hillary, I start to think to myself.
However, I have choices in how I can spend my time. I can spend my time cleaning my house and feeling relief in the limited instances where there are people in my house outside of my nuclear unit (who may or may not be judging.) Admittedly, it would also make my daily existence feel more organized and as though there were some semblance of order which is absolutely something I crave so that’s a huge plus.
I can spend that time working on my business which is one thing that gives me life, (likely) make a bigger mess with my kids once they come home for the night but enjoy that time with them, and talk to my husband after the kids are asleep in said mess. The cleaning will get done when it gets done, with both my husband and I picking a day and getting to it.
I’ve come to realize (and some days accept) that quality time I spend with my family and myself is always going to trump cleaning.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
A SAHP may be able to accomplish all the household tasks and care for their kids like a boss, but not get a break to just do something for self-care. Maybe this parent hasn’t seen a movie in a theatre since Clinton was president, but has a neat home with kids who are always in bed by 7.
People you see who seemingly have it all together either a) DON’t, or b) have HELP to do all those things. Or they’re not working. Or they have a child who sleeps 12 hours a night + plays all day by themselves with no trouble or never gets sick or…. They are not dealing with the stuff you’re dealing with and vice versa.
We must remind ourselves that even when someone looks like they can do it all from the outside, inside there’s something that’s lacking. And I don’t mean it in a judge-y way; I just mean that when you see someone doing a lot of SOMETHING, it’s always because they’re doing very little of SOMETHING ELSE because no one can do everything! It’s not that they’re a crappy person but rather because they’re human and everyone has limits.
Even people who can say, pay someone to clean their home or watch their kids are not unicorns; they just have the financial means to get more done - perspective.
Another great example is all those instagram fitness peeps who post constantly are in “good shape,” never skip a leg day, etc. have that lifestyle because that is how those people prioritize their time and that’s okay! That’s what (I assume) makes them happy and that’s how they choose to spend their time. The reason that person on Instagram has a 6 pack and rock hard glutes is because they spend a significant amount of time building that. I imagine they also follow a relatively strict diet that does not include Happy Hour every Thursday with their co-workers or pizza on Fridays for dinner.
Some people find joy in spending 2-3 hours each day at the gym, and prioritizing fitness. Remember, though: while they are at the gym they are not cleaning their home, not taking care of that huge pile of laundry, not driving around jamming out to their favorite music, not volunteering, not lounging with their partner, not focusing on their children, etc.
Perhaps some of these things are what they do when they leave the gym, but the point is that no matter how much they divide their time they will always not be doing something because of they prioritize fitness. They may have a high, tight butt and no clue how to cook because they don’t prioritize cooking.
And if you’re like me and don’t highly prioritize fitness, you will enjoy ice cream, pizza and lazy days, but you won’t have a six pack. It all depends on your life priorities (not to get all Marie Kondo on you, but), and gives you joy!
Do I want a life where I can get ice cream whenever I want (within reason of course, but still!) and still look like an average person, or do I want to spend a majority of my free time exercising and limiting what I take in to look more “fit?” It turns out that even though I have my bad days just like anyone else, I really don’t want to be “fit” badly enough to dedicate a lot of free time to it. It just doesn’t bring me joy.
Goofing around with my kids or running my own business? That sh*t brings me joy.
So ya’ll, just pick your joyful priorities. We only roam this place we call Earth for so long, so choose wisely. If you choose what brings you joy you’ll never regret it.
In friendship and cheesecake,