I’ll just be myself … and do the very best I can.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

 It's funny where you can find inspiration. Yesterday, I went to one of my very favorite blogs, stylebyemilyhenderson in search of my daily fix of amazing home loveliness, and instead found myself reading one paragraph, from her birth plan of all places, over and over. This morning when I woke up, I found myself again reading it on repeat. It reads:
 "I’ll just be myself … and do the very best I can." In case you are wondering what my parenting method is too, it’s the same answer … also for my career and marriage. There is something about determination that is great and very important, but life is too fluid to be able to predict (or judge) your own reactions to things.
I really don't know why this speaks to me so strongly, but it just does. Lately, at the end of the day, I've been feeling like a bit of a failure. Not in my own life, just life in general. For example there are days where I feel like superwoman, having run 6 miles, showered, remembering to return the library books (on time), got the kids to and from school, dressed and fed, put multiple meals on the table, put away the laundry, made beds, cleaned up, caught up with friends on the phone, spent time with my husband… etc, and then I will get on my computer and see some of my personal heroes absolutely killing it. Women like Emily, Jenny, Ali, Jenni, Christiane, Joanna, Emily the list goes on and on. Not only are these women complete success stories in the creative world, but many of them have 2, 3, 4 (Ali has 5!!!) kids, and somehow they manage to have magazine quality homes, perfect blowouts, and 1,000,000+ blog followers, and insanely profitable self made businesses. My patting myself on the back for a successful day will then turn to a interrogation in my mind, wondering how they can do it all, and why I can't.  

Honestly, how do they do it all? When do they find the time? Most days I can't spare a minute to put on mascara, and these women are planning menus for their restaurants, launching spring lines, styling homes to perfection, turning Ikea cabinets in to built in works of art. It's hard not to compare yourself, and honestly, I wish I could say, "oh, they don't have kids," or "they must have someone else do it all," but it seems like most of these women are really hands on Moms and design superstars, and I'm like, "yay! I remembered to buy dish soap, AND put up a blog post." Doesn't really compare. And yes, I've read the quote "comparison is the thief of joy," and I totally agree, but in my head it's not like I am lusting after their homes, or lives, it's more of a comparison of their drive versus mine. Their creative talent. Do some people just have it and some don't? Do they have kids that just quietly play in ABC Carpet and Home, while mine would find a way to burn the place down? Do they ever sleep? Are they witches or gypsies? Do they look at women like Tory Burch, or Marissa Mayer and wonder how they do it? I can't even comprehend that level of success. Let's be honest, I can't even finish this damn book in the next year. 

 Back to the quote. 

I feel like I have to stop this dialogue. That or give up my Internet, and we all know that isn't going to happen. I am going to adopt Emily's mantra as mine for the next few months, and see where that gets me. "I'll just be myself… and do the very best I can." Seems easy enough, right? At the very least it will allow me to be proud of my own accomplishments, no matter how small, and best case scenario, my best gets a little better, and that can't be a bad thing either. 

I get that things don't happen overnight, and that some people are just built for greatness. I have absolutely no complaints about the life I am living, and I truly feel so fortunate for every day with my family and friends, and especially my two awesome kids. Millions of people are trying to figure out how to put food on the table tonight, and I'm struggling with finding greater personal satisfaction- I get how lucky I am. However, I also think it's important to never stop growing, and for me the ultimate satisfaction would come from creating something greater than I ever thought was possible. 

Until then, I’ll just be myself … and do the very best I can.


Anne said...

Love this!

Lou said...

Hi - I could write a whole essay in response to this which would basically express the sentiment of: 'ME TOO!'. Everyone goes through these stages of internet-induced angst and at the end of the day what you've arrived at is right - be yourself, do what you do. It's all OK :-) L x

lmc1971 said...

Maybe the question isn't "how do they do it"...but rather why do they do it?

As a wife and mom with a full-time job, I too struggle with doing it all, being a great parent, a domestic goddess and a loving spouse. But you know what, sometimes my floors aren't the cleanest and maybe we have take-out one to many nights a week and that laundry that I folded on Monday night at 9pm...yeah, it's still sitting on the dining room table...but you know what, that's ok cause I don't have to be anyone but myself. My life looks good to me from the inside...I'm not worried about what it looks like to anyone else. And those folks who seem to have it all...well maybe they just know how to ask for help with cooking, cleaning, childcare, laundry...

When I get feeling down on myself for any imagined lacking, I pinch myself and remember I have it pretty darn good. My family is healthly and happy...and for me that is everything.

Best, Lisa