As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting much here lately. Last week (or was it a couple weeks ago?), I tried to explain my absence with the all too common excuse — I’m busy. I know we’re all too busy, and that doesn’t really fly. But I somehow found myself in that place where I clearly had bitten off more than I can chew.
Women often find themselves in this place. Many of us have trouble saying no, mostly because being pleasant and agreeable is ingrained in so many of us from childhood. And yes, this is true even when you are a child of the 70s and 80s as I am. Women’s lib may have been a part of my life since birth, but some things take much longer to change.
My case is a little different, however. I grew up with a father who expected me to conquer the world. Because he expected it of me, I’ve always done everything at once. I’ve always amazed people with how much I can do and how quickly I can do it. And after 37 years of this, I’m freakin’ exhausted. I can’t keep it up any longer.
So, when I looked at my schedule and realized that not only am I a full-time mother, but I am also working 60+ hours a week at my office job, and I was spending 20 hours a week doing homework for an online course, and I was trying to keep our household running and everyone fed with healthy, home-cooked meals. Well, I realized that I’m crazy, and it was time to get back to basics.
What my father will probably never realize is that it is always preferable to do a few things well, than to do a mediocre job at a lot of things. Mediocrity is just not something I can stand for, and that’s what I was producing. Mediocre work. Mediocre homework and projects. Mediocre parenting. Mediocre housekeeping. It wasn’t fair to me or my family.
So I dropped something. Something I actually really enjoyed and wanted to do — my course. I avoided this for a while, because I didn’t want to get rid of something that makes me happy. But, being a mother to Azita makes me happier, and it’s more important. And my job keeps a roof over our heads, so nothing could be done about that.
When I withdrew from my course a couple days ago, it was hard for me to squash the voice that tells me I’m a loser for not doing it all. I’ve beat myself up about it since then, but for the past couple days I’ve also caught up on some sleep and I’ve cooked much tastier and healthier meals and I’ve managed to finally fold that pile of clean laundry and clean the floors.
Best of all, I’ve spent time playing with Azita, reading to her, coloring with her, building elaborate structures out of blocks with her. And, from the smile on her face and the kisses she smothers me with I’ve learned that there’s nothing at all shameful about getting my life back to basics. In fact, it’s a very good thing.