You know those great times when you finally get to catch up with someone you love? Last night I got to do that with my friend Elizabeth. We had our kids and work and our crazy lives to catch up on and somehow between the kids racing around the house and and the interruptions we managed to actually talk. Impressive (those of you with toddlers know what I mean).
One thing that constantly amazes me is how much my own feelings, emotions, and fears are things that so many other people can relate to. Last night, Elizabeth and I talked a lot about balancing. Its a tough one. The parenting, the career, the wants, the desires, the spouse, the friends...not to even mention all the emotional burdens we put on ourselves. Its kind of amazing any of us are sane, really.
But my point. The thing that I've been thinking about is how hard we work to do whatever is "right". For me, I'm of the mind that if I'm committed to something I have to do it all the way. That part is good except I tend to put pretty unrealistic rules around it. And if I don't follow those rules exactly then I've failed. And then I may as well just give up and go in the opposite extreme direction. Take drinking. In the beginning of this year I decided to stop for awhile. That lasted for a couple months - but once I had that first night with a glass of wine, I entered the spiral where I beat myself up, felt horribly guilty, like a total failure, and figured I've already messed up my goal and may as well just give it up altogether. Sheesh. How ridiculous. Substitute "diet" for "drinking", or any variety of other things I've tried to excel at and you pretty much see the pattern. Its pretty exhausting.
So I'm tired of the pattern. I'm not a failure just because I'm human and I'm not able to maintain strict rules on myself all the time. And that should be ok. No one else is making me feel bad about it or thinking I failed - its just me bringing all that on myself. So enough.
Now is the part where I try to figure out how to balance - the goals and behaviors I want to change with the knowledge that its OK to choose to get off the horse once in awhile. After all, life is short. And I for one want to enjoy it.