Yesterday I saw a meme on Facebook that said, “I feel like I’m already tired tomorrow.” When I shared it, it was with the comment that I also felt behind already. I’m not sure whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy or I was simply admitting the truth to myself and my Facebook world yesterday. Either way, I woke up this morning feeling like I could just pull the blankets back over my head and drift back to sleep.
I didn’t, though. The dreamland I’d come out of wasn’t one I wanted to go back to. The not-quite-nightmare had an eerie feeling as friends kept disappearing as I wound my way through a maze. I started with a group of people and ended by myself in front of an elevator I didn’t know whether to go up or down. Creepy. And telling. I often don’t know which way is the right way in my own life. But I try to make the best of it. Just like I did today.
After getting a shower and throwing in a load of laundry, I left for my first meeting of the day. I’m working on this networking thing and am enjoying connecting with at least one person a week. We share what’s going on in our lives, what’s brought us to our business, and where we’d like to go. We share our stories. And I love that.
By the end of that get-together, I was feeling good and ready to conquer the world. Until I got home.
I looked at my calendar to make some calls and schedule a few interviews I need to do and realized it’s only the fourth day of the month! Earlier I’d told someone I didn’t have time to meet with them this month and asked if she’d be willing to wait until March. I didn’t realize I couldn’t fit in another coffee for the next three weeks! I was stunned and that feeling of being behind flooded back.
The funny thing is that I make my own hours. I write only what and when I want. But I feel like there’s never enough time. Between asking why the dishwasher’s not emptied and whose turn it is to sweep the floor. Between suddenly remembering that that load of clothes hasn’t made it to the dryer yet and noticing that it’s noon and the people I need to call are eating lunch. Between wanting to take a nap and knowing it’s not going to happen. In between all of that…that feeling that I had from my morning meeting drifted away with my even noticing.
I scurried around the house for an hour and a half, completing tasks that come with homeschooling, mothering, housekeeping, and meal making. Suddenly it was time to gather everyone up for my second meeting of the day. The kids were attending with me so that we could have some forced fun (I planned an afternoon movie outing that one of my three wasn’t thrilled about – really?!) before it was time for sports. They didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to argue. So we argued and they got in the car. I was trying to plaster a smile on my face to meet with another business connection and brush off the feeling that I was neglecting what my kids really needed. Who knows what that is anyway? I mean, I think I do sometimes. But other times I’m obviously wrong or at least feel that way. And if it’s true that they just want time with me, maybe I’m not supposed to be writing like I am. Maybe I’m supposed to be just mom. Just teacher. Just wife and mother. And, yes, I know…none of those things are “just” but I feel like I’m more and maybe…maybe now isn’t the time…
Saved from my own spiraling thoughts by the bell. My second meeting was calling to let me know that her prior meeting had gone long past what she’d expected and she wouldn’t be able to make it. We’re going to reschedule, because I do want to talk with her. But I took a deep breath when we hung up because now I didn’t have to psych myself up for anything or pretend I wasn’t frustrated or confused. I just had to be me and figure out what to do with these kids for an extra hour until our movie started.
We wasted time in style at the mall! We hung out at Barnes & Noble and drank smoothies and laughed and all felt right. At one point it occurred to me that I still hadn’t made those phone calls, but I had folded the laundry before leaving the house. I still have blog posts to write and notes to make into minutes from a meeting earlier this week. I was no further ahead than when I woke up this morning, but after our movie I’d have all night to catch up…at least a little, because there’s just one more meeting tonight.
And then it was time for Kung Fu Panda 3. I was looking forward to some mindless fun. I should have known better.
Without giving away too much, it suffices to say that the lesson I took away was I need to be me. No one else can be a better me. The me the kids need me to be is the me that I am. And that me isn’t just anything.
I am just everything. I am a teacher and mother and daughter and sister and friend and wife. I am emotional and confident and caring and supportive and thoughtful and worried. I am a lover, a holder, a thinker, a writer.
I learned a lot from this little animated movie. I learn a lot from the days I tune in to. Recently I was talking to my husband about not knowing what I should be doing – getting a job, trying to make this bio writing business bigger, focus on the kids, plan a road trip, do more yoga…I really didn’t know. We were in the car, which is the only reason he didn’t look me in the eye. But what he said was, “You’re enough. You don’t need to do anything other than what you want to do.” I heard him then. I heard him again after this movie, after this up and down, roller coaster day.
I am enough. I am doing what I want to do. I’m not doing it perfectly. But I’m doing me in the only way I know how.