My whole life I have told myself the same small lie over and over again. "I can do that." Until recently, I could do that! And that! And that! I could do it all! Or I thought
I could. The truth is, I can't do that. Or that. Or that.
Can I be a room mom for D's class? Yes.
Can I be art coordinator? Yes.
Can I work part time? Yes.
Can I take care of M and give him all the cuddles? Yes and Yes.
Can I assemble a cabinet for my grandma? Yes. (Even those pesky Ikea ones.)
Can I start a personal writing business? Yes. (Will it go anywhere is a different question.)
Can I make and sell wreaths and other decor? Yes.
Can I cook dinner? Yes.
Can I visit a sick neighbor? Yes. (With a medical mask and hazmat suit on. I ain't about getting sick.)
Can I give Rich all the loves in the world? Yes.
Can I do all of these things at the same time? No. Not even close.
My whole adult life, I've prided myself on being able to do a lot of things at one time. I learn very quickly. I can multi-task like you wouldn't believe. I feel like there is nothing you can throw at me that I can't handle. (Except a hot potato. I will not handle those.) Doing many things at once has often earned a lot of praise (and some negative reactions, haters gonna hate, right?). Part of me lives for that praise. We all live for praise.
|How B feels about building|
"Your habits sculpt your path." (Farshad Asl) That's not something we think about as we are living our habits. It's not something I have thought about while living my habits. I don't eat cereal daily and think "yes, this is forming a nice path to being a cereal connoisseur." I have thought about the path I am on, though.
I have thought about who I want to be, the kind of woman I want to grow up to be. There are a lot of role models in my life and several more throughout history. Lately, I've felt like I'm on the wrong path to become like those women. It's felt like I'm on a parallel path that will never reach the same destination as a path I want to be on. It took me a lot of late night thinking to realize what's wrong. My habits.
I have a habit of being late. Everyone who knows me knows I run ten to thirty minutes late, minimum. If you want me to be somewhere on time, tell me to be there at an earlier time.
I also have a habit of not fully completing projects. I have a lot of pieces of projects sitting around. I have the materials to make some cute Halloween wreaths, but I just haven't put them together.
Another habit is messiness. Poor Rich probably goes nuts because he's such a neat person and I'm so messy. I'm not a slob where I leave trash on the floor, but I also don't ever put my shoes away. It's lucky if I remember to empty the dishwasher, or get M's clothes put away (or my clothes).
|Somewhere in there is Rich's|
it's a place to hoard my bad habits.
Unfortunately, I don't know that I will ever be able to be on time to things. But the rest of these problems, I can fix. I can fix them by changing my habits.
I've prided myself on saying "yes" to tasks. ALL the tasks. Run an errand? Yep! Build a cabinet? Yep! (That cabinet is on my mind. I need to get it finished.) Feed M? Yep! Listen to all three boys tell me about school at one time? Yep!
I continually lie to myself and say that these are the things that make me happy. They aren't. I don't have anything against any of them, but not everything I do makes me happy. I love to spend time with the boys and be a part of their schooling. I love cuddling M and watching him grow up. I enjoy crafting things from my imagination.
|This is what makes me happy.|
spent talking about how tired we are. This is not the path I want to be on forever. It won't be.
People who are familiar with my tardiness also know I'm terrible at goal setting. It's sadly another product of trying to do too much. Instead, I set action plans. This is my action plan: Say No. That's it. No.
No, I don't have time to be art coordinator. No, don't buy more fake flowers. No, don't do all of those things.
It's going to be hard. It already is hard. Just typing the action plan was difficult. Habits take a lot to break. All of the things I like to do are good things. But all things require moderation, even the good things. I'm thinking about tomorrow. I have work. Then I have one parent teacher conference. I will also build that cabinet to get it off my mind. That's it. I have all that extra time. My mind immediately wants to fill the space. I could read. I could go to the library. I could go on a walk. I could work later. I could build more cabinets. That list of things relaxes me. But I can't do all of those things. I need to stop telling myself I can.
I need to say no. So I will. It is not failure. It is not weakness. It is how I am going to be who I want to be in 50 years. It's trading in my "jack of all trades" title for something better. It's putting Rich and M before myself. It's being a team player.
It's creating the Morgan I want to be.