I’m worn out. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
I know, I’m no different from anyone else and we are all exhausted. We strive to do a million things and we convince ourselves we need to do a million things well. I think our culture prides itself on how exhausted we can be. It’s a competition, enabled by social media, judged by all the other people around you and awarded nothing.
“You can’t possibly understand how I feel. I was up at six this morning doing X.”
“Well, I was up at five doing Y. Oh, and my kids are forcing me to do Z.”
“You poor thing. My husband didn’t do Q, so now I have to do it.”
“I hear ya. Mine didn’t do R, and complained when I reminded him about it.”
And so on and so on and so on.
I’m guilty of it and somehow, no matter how many times I tell myself I’m not going to overbook, overschedule, or overcommit, I do. And I’m not even talking about my kids.
In fact, I wonder what I’m teaching them. When they tell me they studied and I wonder, well, did you study enough? When they tell me they cleaned and I wonder, is it clean enough? When they tell me they tried and I wonder, did you try hard enough?
Maybe their version of enough is actually enough. Maybe the effort doesn’t have to be the most, the best, the hardest, and it quite probably doesn’t have to equal mine. Maybe they just need to be able to look themselves in the eye and know that they are good enough.
We complain that people don’t know how to be still. We urge people to appreciate their surroundings. But does anyone actually do that? When is the last time you sat and read a book because you wanted to, or looked out the window because it was pretty? And if you did do that, was there a nagging in the back of your brain reminding you about everything you should be doing instead?
Who decided that was the goal?
Because there has to be a goal. We’ve trained ourselves to reach for the goal. But somewhere along the way, the goal has been moved so far away as to almost be unattainable. And the goal has grown, like the monster under the bed, until it’s no longer some desirable thing. It’s scary and stressful and quite possibly more effort than it’s worth.
I think it’s time to redefine that goal. I think our “best” needs to be “enough.” I think the one-upping in the “how tired are you?” has to end. I think we need to redirect our pride so that we are proud of actual accomplishments, no matter how small.
And perhaps, if we need public accolades, we’re doing it wrong.