Parenting

One Thing. One Day.

I’ve been a little frustrated with my inability to achieve excellence in any one area of my life on any one day. I do okay in everything: Diet, Parenting, Spousing (Can I verb that?), Running, Working, Cooking…etc. But I never seem to achieve all of my goals in any ONE thing for any ONE day. I never cross every item off my To Do list in any one category. I fail at, at least one thing in every part of my life every day.

And really…who doesn’t? I mean, once you start paying your own bills with your own salary in your own house…you kinda officially have too much to worry about to perfect everything. And is there any job in the world where you don’t run into road blocks to finish your tasks at least once a day? And half of the crap we all need to do every day, we all hate it, so if something comes up to keep us from it? WE TOTALLY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

I also recognize that a lot of my inadequacies are not my doing. Problems come up with projects I couldn’t have predicted with elements outside of my control. Schedules I have no control over pose conflicts forcing me to choose between very important things. Physical inadequacies pop up keeping me from functioning at 100%. There are plenty of VERY good reasons that I’m not reaching my goals. More than just, “Sat on my ass eating truffles watching reality TV all day,” anyway.

So, I’m not claiming to be worse than anyone, or even worse than I should be. I’m just recognizing the general trend in my life lately. I go to bed every night inadequate in every area of my life. And in case you were curious…this does not help a person go to sleep.

Since this trend has been causing me sleepless anxiety and I stay away late into the night fretting about the things in the day that kept me from reaching my goals, I’ve decided to try things a little differently. Maybe I’ll choose one thing to try to perfect every one day. I’ll go through my real To Do list and my mental one (because – let’s face it – we never put EVERYTHING on our To Do lists) and see if there’s any one thing that might be easy to focus on.

I decided today it would be: PARENTING!

We have nothing on our schedule tonight. No soccer, no running groups, no triathlon groups, no PTA meetings, and no book clubs. No nighttime activities to pull me from my family. Plus, I work while they’re at school so that gives me a good 7+ hours where I can’t do anything wrong in regards of parenting because the kids won’t be here! I would never try to achieve Parental Success on a WEEKEND…jeez. I’m ambitious but not stupid.

I’ll spend the hours today that I’m around my kids…focused on trying to meet all of my parenting goals for the day. I’ll try not to lose my patience. I’ll joke around more. I’ll hug more. I’ll tickle more. I’ll remember all homework and fill out all forms for school. I’ll accept that I may not get my run in or I may not get the carpets vacuumed. I may not talk to my husband enough and I may go over my caloric limit for the day. I may not meet any of my goals in any area of my life for today – EXCEPT THE PARENTING ONES. Just allow myself to feel success in one tiny area at the end of the day. Feel like one section of my To Dos actually Got Done.

And when I say “perfect” I mean “perfect by normal person standards”. Not “perfect by Pinterest standards”. I mean, I’m going to sign up for my parent/teacher conference (which I keep forgetting to do), not sew a Halloween costume. I’m going to tell jokes while I make them breakfast, not perform some intricate crafting activity with them to teach them about the solar system. I’m going to give more hugs than gripes, but I’m not going to wear a smile around them all day.

I’d just like to go to bed tonight feeling like, in at least one area of my life, I got things under control for the day. And maybe, if I do a different area 3’ish times a week, I won’t feel like I’m swimming in failures. I won’t struggle to go to sleep every night dwelling on the mounds of things I’m not getting done. If I focus one ONE area every few days, maybe I’ll finally hack away at the tasks and feel a tad bit better about managing my chaotic life.

And that way…next weekend when I’ve forgotten all of their meetings, yelled at them multiple times, and sent them Lunchables for lunch…I can look back on today and say, “Well…that one day went well at least.”

3 thoughts on “One Thing. One Day.”

  1. “Perfect by normal person standards” not “perfect by Pinterest standards”…that is too funny. I can’t meet those Pinterest standards, either.

    I like the idea of trying to meet one standard a day. Some days it is more than I can do, though.

  2. I listen to the “another mother runner” podcasts, and this week’s guest was Lauren Fleshman, a professional runner and new mom. She’s had some ups & downs with running/competing and when she was discussing it she said something to the effect of you don’t always get to choose your successes, but if you are open to them, they come.
    I tend to be very tunnel visioned about my productivity, and usually fall short. Or I get things done but it’s unpleasant because I’m gritting my teeth and my blood pressure is through the roof the whole time. HOWEVER, I’ve noticed that I get as much done (and am happier doing it) on sunny Friday paydays. The only difference: my attitude. I think that on those days, I don’t have my nose quite to the grindstone/eyes on the prize, my vision is broader (if that makes sense).
    Anyway. I bet the only one beating yourself up is you. 🙂

  3. i think you are amazing. i’m not a parent, but i’ve recently started working out. with a BMI of 31. for three weeks, i did an hour and ten minutes on the the elliptical three times a day. so then i thought: oh, for sure i can go for a mile jog. WRONG. it was way harder than i thought, and my heels were blistered and bleeding. but i signed up to run a 5k with my uncle on thanksgiving (the detroit turkey trot) and every time i go jogging, and my feet feel like the devil, i think to myselfL “zoot used to hate this, too. and now she can run 50 miles in one day. keep moving your feet.”

    so, you’re an inspiration to me, at least. if that helps at all.

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