I’ve learned to accept the fact that it’s ok to devote your best effort to life, even when you’re not so sure you’re doing any of it right.
This thought swirled through my brain when ordering less-than-stellar food from the lady behind the glass counter display at my local grocery store. A hodgepodge of fast, fatty edibles: one burrito, some fried chicken, one corn dog, green beans, chocolate pudding, and dinner rolls. In an attempt to save some semblance of my maternal self-esteem, I also picked up some tomatoes for my burrito and some navel oranges to peel for the kids. It all cancels out that way.
(Incidentally, the prepackaged green beans “tasted like stale hot dogs” according to my middle child, and his analogy wasn’t too far from the truth. Those ended up in the trash.)
“Yes,” I reassured my husband via text. “I went to the stupid store.”
My husband takes care of no less than 99.9 percent of our food shopping and preparation but that particular night, I was on my own.
I have a longer commute these days for my job. On good days, I’m on the road for a little over an hour. On bad days, more like 90 minutes. I drive three separate interstate systems to get where I’m going. Thank God for the free satellite radio subscription that came with my car.
I try to remember to enjoy the ride, even when I’m staring at brake lights. I have an office to travel to after all and I’ve known plenty of people who don’t share that luxury.
I knew this parenting phase, with three kids in three separate schools, would be crazy. If we didn’t have friends in the neighborhood to pitch in with rides, to help us stay organized, to take care of our kids with the same level of love and concern that they show their own, I don’t know how we would manage.
I knew I’d have to forfeit the idea of being the perfect manager, the most attentive mother, the most affectionate wife, the most inspirational coach, the most reliable friend… all the while keeping myself in peak physical and psychological shape.
I can’t possibly do all of that.
But what I CAN do is wake up grateful for having woken up each morning. 🙂
I CAN let the people I see every day know that I care…about a shared goal, a meaningful experience, and a common chapter we are all living together.
I CAN recognize that the ones who rely on me the most don’t feel let down.
I CAN appreciate the here and now while also looking forward to the future.
I CAN forgive myself for falling short at times.
As an avid fan of reading authentic authors, I don’t think I’ve found better inspiration on how to live life happily without imposing unrealistic expectations on myself than Rachel Stafford over at HandsFreeMama.com.
If you’ve ever felt overly distracted and not entirely in tune with what you should be most focused on in life (especially if you have an influence on little ones, whether your own children or others who look up to you), take two seconds to subscribe via email to get Rachel’s posts in your inbox.
I have had my own readers tell me they can relate to what I write about and I hope this post is no exception.
If you tell me you’ve got life all figured out and have never doubted yourself, I’ll tell you I’m a top chef. Stale hot dogs and all.
Written by Heidi Woodard