Sunday I got bent out of shape over a wire risk. Serious stuff here people. I was feeling like I had to take care of everything, to do more because others weren’t doing their part. Then, I pulled out the whisk that another had crammed in the utensil drawer and it was twisted and bent. Needing to be fixed.
The bent whish became a metaphor for all the times during the week that I’d felt like I had to fix, manage, repair damage others had done. Like it was my job to clean up the messes left by others.
I said this to my husband, with the whole metaphor thing, and may or may not have been a little sighing and dramatic. He looked at me. Eyes unblinking.
“Wha? I don’t get what any of this has to do with a whisk,” he says.
I know. I was a bit crazy in that moment, overwhelmed and feeling like I was in fix-it mode ALL WEEK LONG and I wanted somebody to make it easier for me, for once. I wanted someone to come in and fix my stuff.
Course, I’m the only one who can fix my stuff. I am also, apparently, the only one who got my great whisk metaphor.
So this week, with greater awareness, I’m doing things differently.
Drop the Wonder Woman Cape
First off, and this will come as a surprise to NOT ANYONE, but I Cannot Do it All. Right. And, seriously, I don’t want to do it all. That doesn’t feel good or grounded and I’m not very fun to live with when I try and there is so much stuff I’m not even any good that the whole notion of me trying to do it all is ridiculous and wouldn’t work well for anyone, so I’m quitting that.
Believe me when I tell you, you don’t want to see this body in a Wonder Woman suit so I need to stop playing the part in my own mind. Bottom line is I will ask for help when I need it.
Not just for help when it comes down to the chores and shuttling kids and cooking dinner, but also when I need emotional support and comfort. This week I’m leaving room for people to take care of me a little bit, when I need it. Of course this feels vulnerable, (Brene’ Brown says we can survive this, of course, and she’s got the research to back it up and she is awesome so I totally believe her) AND it feels enlivening. It feels like a way to open up more to this life. To notice it and feel it, and engage in it, and make space for my whole self, not just the one that seems to have it all together, even as things are unraveling inside.
Part of living a more grounded life, of course, also means that I will do what aligns with my values. Working out (good health), driving my daughter to class (family time – you can cover a lot when your kids are trapped in the car) and managing the dinner and evening stuff so my husband can fit his marathon training are things that align with my values of family and health.
And, I will also take time for my own creative development and work – this may look like an hour spent reading or daydreaming, or writing or pitching agents or walking around with a camera or jotting notes in a coffee shop. Don’t know. But I do know it’s a must-do for me to remain sane AND it aligns with my value of creative expression and work. That critical value which is about ideas and learning and expression and knowledge, keeps me grounded and aware. It’s for me and it’s just as important as those things that support others.
And I know by now that even on our busiest days we feel better when we are doing things that align with our values, the things we most care about.
The day will be filled with other things of course and I’ll take them as they come accept them for what they are rather than projecting and worrying and what-iffing.
And I’ll take baby steps to keep moving in alignment my own expansion and growth. Not everything needs to be fixed in a day – most don’t need to be fixed at all. So, I’ll mind my own business and stop over-functioning so that others can step into their own capabilities. And, I’ll let the Wonder Woman act go. It only pisses me off in the end, anyhow.