Every day seems an exercise in the impossible. You’re not accomplishing what you should be. What everyone else seems to be. Wonder Women.
Other women ARE wonders! Online, you witness the possible for them. You see them in person too. Those able to successfully well dress their kids and themselves. The kind that have spot-free SUVs and manicured fingers and always manage to eat salads and roasted vegetables and maintain daily workouts, even in winter, evidenced by the high quality activewear they look good in.
The sort who thrill to a hectic schedule too, one full of their junior Olympians and miniature Einsteins’ activities, all while keeping a magnificent home void of mess and clutter, with interior design worthy of full-page photo spreads. They’re boasting thriving six-figure side hussles through keeping on top of social media correspondence and email lists. They’re coaching others too.
While most days you are finding it hard to floss between your teeth.
You are not alone.
Most days I feel like I’m fighting in a war, and when it’s time to reluctantly consider getting some sleep, when I am still coherent enough to have such thoughts, I look at my bed and pillows a little resentfully. Maybe if I didn’t have to rest I could do all those things too?
I want to scream at those pillows.
People tell me I’ve nothing to moan about. After all, I did publish a book. But you know what? Most days I feel like a failure too. Some days I cry for it.
Being part of a closed FaceBook group full of authors intent on changing the world only reminds me I don’t seem to have the time others have. Or, at least I don’t seem to be able to craft it into the magnificent works of art others can. Oh, it is an enormous privilege, to be sure, to be a part of a tribe of writers from across the globe who encourage others to write, who share their wins.
Where cheering one another on looks something like this: “The new year is going to be wonderful!”
“The year 2020 will be the one when things change!”
Funny, how New Year’s Day started like most other days for me. I had a completely flat tire and since Discount Tires was closed, my car sat in a Starbucks parking lot for two days.
At least I had access to hot coffee.
Oh, I laughed it off and thought of contributing my “win” for the new year, the one that would set the pace for the 364 days that would follow, but I wasn’t sure anyone would truly understand my sense of humor and besides, I couldn’t help but wonder about the reality of such.
Life, is well, life. You can’t always fight the direction it’s taking you.
So, every time I set office hours, every single time I decide I am going to get some work done, write a little on my blog, market my book a little more, finalize the hiring of an illustrator for my children’s book, life happens.
The dog gets loose, a goat jumps the fence, a chicken is dying, a kid has to get to the doctor’s office, a grandkid needs a babysitter. There is yet, another, flat tire. Two in one day. And there are still people to feed, most unfortunately. Kidding. Just kidding. I do think, however, that there may come a day when I no longer set foot in my kitchen. Never mind, there is always a coffee pot to draw me back in.
But as I think about all I am not doing, a voice comes to me and corrects my erroneous reasoning. “Think about all you ARE doing,” it says. And so I do. Think about it. Ugh. It isn’t pretty.
Early yesterday as my daughter Rachel was getting ready to leave for work, I put on my yoga pants and sneakers to head to our treadmill in the basement. I planned to walk and then get started on a To Do list a mile long on my first day off in weeks. But an ice storm arrived, and it became immediately clear to my husband and I as we looked outside that Rachel’s vehicle was not going to make it easily. “You’re not going anywhere,” her father said strongly. “Unless your mother takes you in her four-wheel-drive vehicle.”
Well, okay then. My teeth and hair were unbrushed and I hadn’t showered but I got into the car with Rachel immediately and I drove the usual 40-minute one-way trip into the city in an hour (at 46 miles an hour once I’d reached the highway), and then back again. After I’d returned home, there were dishes and laundry and farm chores and animals to deal with but I did manage to get three miles in on the treadmill and settle an old, struggling chicken in her coop before heading back into the city for an appointment for Gracie, as well as the retrieval of her sister. We arrived back home for good just in time to start dinner.
It was a fine day. No calamities. No hysteria. Just a full, good day.
If you don’t count the dead chicken in the coop. Two, actually. My hens are getting old. And it's winter.
But I didn’t conquer the world. I don’t know that I even positively influenced it. I certainly didn’t accomplish all I’d set out to. I just lived. And I put the needs of my family and farm first.
I didn’t take any pictures along the way.
I think God is okay with that. I believe that is what I am supposed to do—to do what is necessary within the parameters of opportunity. Today I had the opportunity to serve my family. Tomorrow I just may have one to write.
Or to speak words of affirmation into the life of another.
I can make adjustments to my schedule in order to accomplish those things God would have me do. And I can accept readjustments to my schedule in order to accomplish those things God would also have me do. The secret to success is to be okay with LIFE. To understand there is no comparison that needs to be made. I need not beat myself up over it. I can jump for joy in it!
God would NEVER call me a failure. And he would never call you one either.
Our greatest triumphs are found in our ability to put others before ourselves. Is it acceptable to be a little selfish on occasion? I think we need to go to God about those opportunities. He can be selfish for us. I am certain that if we are truly staying in his will for us, he will give us the opportunities we are looking for. Or he will satisfy us in other ways.
And when he returns to take us home and, like the Bible tells us, we are judged for every word we’ve spoken, and all the actions we’ve taken--those times we sacrificed our own agendas for the benefit of others, I believe we will find those to be our crowning achievements. That is when we will hear we were Wonder Women after all.