When you lay your head on pillow at night, how often do you find yourself thinking I didn’t get enough done, I have so much more to do tomorrow, or worse, that I’m not enough.
This blog post was inspired by a response I gave to a comment on a guest post I did entitled How to Get Unstuck and Live Life in a Spiritual Flow.
The Tyranny of Enough
Spoiler alert. You and I will never get everything done because there will always be more to do!
This, what I call not enoughness, is drilled into us through our Western stressing and striving culture.
I’m reminded of the television commercial by the perfume Enjoli that aired in 1979:
I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in the pan. And never let you forget you’re a man. ‘Cause I’m a woooooman, Enjoli. The 8 hour perfume for your 24 hour woman.
(For those that remember this, I apologize if I’ve created an ear worm.)
The Myth of Balance
As a mother with a son with Asperger’s, a wife to a husband with Parkinson’s, the only daughter and sibling in town to have cared for my mother’s day-to-day health and financial needs, and a writer/entrepreneur running a business, I can testify that balance is a myth, at least the 50/50 perception of all areas of one’s life getting equal attention.
I do believe, however, that you can strike a balance by giving your full attention to what is most important. Taking your mother to a doctor’s appointment will require your full attention (best without guilt or self-induced stress). Getting your project done at the office will require your full attention. Both tasks will get done. It will just take managing your time. So, in the end, you can strike a balance.
Banish the Tyranny of Not Being or Doing Enough with this Nightly Ritual
So, how do you banish this tyranny of not enoughness? Instead of laying your head on your pillow with thoughts swirling around your head, adding what you didn’t get done today with tomorrow’s to-do list, answer these three simple questions.
Question 1: What Did I Accomplish Today?
Unless you sat on your couch eating bon bons all day, (which, hey, if that’s what you set out to accomplish that day, you would have accomplished it), review the day and what you accomplished.
Too often, I discount anything that is not work related as not accomplishing anything (doctor appointments, grocery shopping, paying bills). There’s like a measuring stick for what counts and doesn’t count as accomplishment. That’s my own tyranny of not being or doing enough. I’m working on it and am doing much better.
I used to constantly say to my husband, “I didn’t accomplish anything today.”
Answering the question, in truth, here’s what I accomplished yesterday.
- Set up the appointment with the city building inspector for Monday as the last step in closing on our house (Uh, kind of a huge accomplishment)
- Worked out
- Made a good start on a future blog post
- Answered comments on a guest blog post
- Went to the post office to find out new rates to mail books and CD purchases
- Met with my mentor and checked dates for a future meeting
I really could have gone on and on with little accomplishments throughout the day.
Accomplishments can be: cooking and eating a healthy meal, talking to your children, setting up a date with a friend or connection you wish to make.
Getting back to that balance word, you need to strike a balance between work, family, friends, and personal self-care.
Not every accomplishment is grand in nature. Every little accomplishment can, however, move you in the direction to accomplish something grand in the future.
Question 2: What Am I Grateful For?
You can’t feel angry, fearful, or anxious when you start saying what you are grateful for.
Getting our prior house ready to sell, building our new home, and moving were some of the most stressful times in my life. The house sold in one day. The inspection report that came back, however, reflected major underlying issues that needed to be fixed to the tune of thousands of unexpected dollars.
When you are faced with major stressors, a health crisis, a family member who is hurting, an accident that rocks your world, it is easy to become depressed or bitter.
I was grateful that the buyers of our home loved it so much that the issues didn’t drive them away. I was grateful that we had qualified people to fix the issues in time for closing. I was grateful that the house sold in one day and that we have a wonderful real estate agent that helped us through it all.
Being grateful allows you to focus on enoughness and abundance instead of lack.
Question 3: What Did You Enjoy Today?
What did you take delight or pleasure in?
I loved having people receive my guest post so warmly by leaving comments. In turn, I loved commenting back to them.
I enjoyed the conversation with my friend and hearing about her recent trip with family. It was a challenging trip for her. It gave me comfort in learning that she too struggles with juggling family and business. I’m not alone in setting needed boundaries so that I know I am being and doing enough.
I hope that these three little questions will help you to break free from the tyranny of feelings of not being or doing enough.
So, what one thing did you accomplish yesterday, or what one thing you are grateful for, or what one thing did you enjoy yesterday? I’d love for you to share by commenting below.
If you know of someone who could benefit from this post, please share it with them.