So I posted this on Facebook today in response to my own minor meltdown, and had a feeling it was hitting a chord. I wanted to share it with you, in case you ever find yourself wondering, "How the hell do people get everything done??" or "Why isn't my life/business as perfect as that person's over there??" or "There's a chance that I might be failing at everything. Am I the only one who feels that way?"
Enjoy : ) ...
It's occurring to me (once again) how important it is to know that for most, if not all, human beings, things can be both great AND overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, tear-inducing, terrifying and embarrassing. It's occurring to me because I was feeling very overwhelmed yesterday, and pretty bleak, even though I'd had a nice holiday and a great morning with the kids at the movies. The sadness and overwhelm was triggered by a lot of things, including the kids having meltdowns at the end of a long day, the fact that the launch of my Big Wish didn't go the way I'd envisioned it, the serious trauma the world's been in, and the fact that mid-October in New York is a balmy 74 degrees.
All of these things, and the lack of control I felt over them, triggered my fear that I am not enough, can never possibly do enough, can never learn enough to make things OK and to do things perfectly and magnificently and to do all of the things I say and know I want to do. And it made me doubt the value of much of what I've done until now, made me feel like I hadn't made enough progress and therefore would never make enough progress to get where I wanted to go.
And I KNOW that I have tools to help me out of this place, and I KNOW that when things align differently I'm all excited and happy, but the thing that really made a difference was this: someone I respect and admire sharing HER struggles and frustrationsand disappointments and challenges, and talking about how she always learned from what was going on and just kept going.
So I thought I'd share some of my own struggles/overwhelm here, in case anyone out there needs a hit of compassion, camaraderie and encouragement.
That is a picture of me...
...late Wednesday afternoon, just before the holiday began. I had started the morning getting the kids off to school with Matt, and then we assembled a sukkah together for the first time (which took some figuring out), and then I headed off for a day of work. It's a bit of a blur by now, but I remember also going grocery shopping so we'd have everything we needed in the house before the holiday, and cooking because we were having company for dinner, and last-minute launching The Big Wish so I could finally get it out into the world. At some point I also must have also picked up the kids from the bus stop, because you can see Stella sitting on me in the picture.
I'd like to say that this is a picture of me doing push ups with Stella on my back, just to show how much MORE endurance I have than the average person, but I will instead be honest: I was SO F*CKING TIRED by 6 PM I literally couldn't move the extra few inches that would have gotten me onto the couch. This is me, sprawled on the floor with my face planted in the unpacked grocery bags and a child gleefully playing on a mama who didn't have the energy to wave her off.
I vaguely remember wailing to my mother (who took this picture), "How do people DO this?!?!"
I'm pretty sure "people" have help, and/or focus on fewer things at a time, and/or are freaking exhausted too. And maybe they eat less sugar so they have more energy, or maybe they've achieved greater equanimity and inner peace and handle things more calmly. I don't know. I DO know it felt better to commiserate with both my mom and a friend who'd rushed in minutes earlier and collapsed on the couch from her own crazy day--we all agreed that it was just a lot.
And this is not whining. This is a way to lay out all the things you have on your plate and see what's getting you to the place you are, to the way you feel. Good or bad, energized or wiped out, inspired or drained. It's OK. And normal.
From this place you can decide what's working and what isn't, what you want to keep doing and what you don't. And you can see that it isn't all a big failure, it's just a lot. And you can decide whether you're done or you want to keep going. Maybe after a short nap on the floor. And you can know you're not alone, and that everyone's traveling one road or another and that all roads have bumps and forks and closed for repair signs on them at some point.
I hope this helps. I think we all need to know we've got company along the way.
[And PS, which was not part of the post--the way I help other fantastic humans out of this kind of overwhelm and fogginess into clear strategies that work + calm minds that can implement them + joyful hearts that remember why they wanted to tackle their big visions in the first place is The Big Wish . Totally customized for every single person. One-on-one personal experience. You get YOUR unique solution for YOUR unique challenges, wishes and vision.