Today I dropped all of my five children off at schools. Five kids. Three schools. Five hours all by myself. At the beginning of the morning I felt like I could conquer the world. I just knew that by the end of my five hours I’d have cured cancer, brokered world peace and found Waldo. Or at least just the Waldo part.
I did get quite a bit done, but here it is the end of the day and I’m feeling that oh-so-familiar feeling of failure. My first instinct was to feel shame and regret over all the things I didn’t finish (laundry, dishes, floors, meal planning, bill paying, and on and on it goes). I know I’m not the only one who gets to the end of the day only to feel frustrated that I can’t ever seem to fit it all in. Why do we do this to ourselves? We get to decide, you know. I know this. I’ve been quoting Chuck Swindoll for more years than I can count: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” We get to choose how we react. We do. I know this. I do.
I’m not sure we necessarily get to choose how we feel, but we can certainly choose how we react to it. And I, for one, am so weary of feeling like I’m failing a test I created for myself. I’m not sure what the solution is, other than to create new self talk. Brené Brown says that we should “talk to ourselves the way that we would talk to someone we love” and I think that’s amazing advice. However, it’s definitely not a natural thing for me.
I think the best I can do is try to do better so I’m talking more nicely to myself tonight.
I’m running through the list of things I DID get done and celebrating how hard I worked today.
I’m remembering the moments that I let go of the busiwork in order to hold a crying baby and I’m thanking God that I get to hold babies.
I’m thinking about the things I was able to do today that I never would have been able to if my sweet babies hadn’t been at school, and I’m grateful for that time.
I’m already making a list of things to do tomorrow and then I’m cutting at least three things off that list so that I can actually accomplish it.
Tonight I give myself grace. Tonight I remember that I’m doing the best I can and that it’s entirely enough. I am enough.
And so are you.