I have been asked many times how I do what I do, or rather how do I fit ALL I do into such a short time span of 24 hours. The truth is, I don’t. Well, okay that’s not entirely true either. I am a perfectionist who feels like the world is often screwing me over because I really need an extra 6 hours in my day to really do what I want to and NEED to do. *whine* I’ll be honest, there’s a LOT of delegating and a LOT of complaining when things don’t go the way I planned. *bitch* It’s because I have high expectations of myself and probably unrealistic expectations of others. *complain* I’m not saying this is all bad but I do tend to put a LOT of extra stuff on my plate and then say “oh shit” I can’t possibly get ALL of this done in the next hour. I’m sure we all have those moments from time to time. *duh* I’m trying to cut back on the “oh shit my balanced plate is overfull and I just dropped wine on a white carpet feeling.” *bullshit* It’s been hard but slowly a work in progress.
What does this have to do with my love for running, because we all thought this was a running blog?
*AHEM* Well sometimes I just need to realign myself. Yes, this is still a running blog but running is probably only 1/8 of who I am. I’d like it to be more but try explaining that to my family, my job(s), my non-running friends, my volunteer work, my furry cat babies, my graduate school program, ect…
I’m not kidding when I say other things must and have been given up to make it all work. Quick showers or sometimes the occassional wh*re bath when I’m rushing to pick up the monkey, grocery shop and make dinner in under an hour some nights. Eating? yeah I can eat but I don’t have time to really sit down, I’ve probably eaten my dinner as it cooked *insert food poisoning joke here* and cleaned up while everyone else is sitting down. Laundry… I have a basket from two weeks ago I have yet to fold. No joke. In fact I ransacked it this morning for matching underthings to wear because I refuse to wear mismatched underthings. I have SOME civilities left… I lift weights and do cardio while the monkey has sabotaged TV time in between commercials. I run early, I run late, heck if I could give up sleeping 5-6 hours a night I’d probably run long during that time. And yet somehow I love my impossibly crazy life with an infectious desire to keep doing it this way.
I can’t really explain how it works, but you find a way to do what you love when you can. A very wise friend told me that if you work hard enough, want things enough you can have whatever you want in this life, provided you can accept not having everything. Hmm. I think I could live with that. I’m slowly working towards my longterm goals. I’m making things happen but along the way I’m discovering what I do and what I don’t want and as I do that I disgard and let go peacefully of the things that have less meaning to me and my values and pick up the things that I truly believe in. I may not be able to tell you now where I see myself in five years any more than I could have guessed that I would be here in this moment five years prior but I know that every moment was not wasted and was spent passionately pursuing something I valued.
So for all the people who ask me “How do you do it all?” *Well… I keep my superwoman cape in my purse, dry cleaned of course hanging up…* No I don’t. LOL I’ve come to accept that I can only do my best efforts from the time I wake up each day in a positive frame of mind to the time I collapse in bed at night. I’ve accepted that sometimes days will be shit and that you have to stand up and keep going. I’m not going to dress rehersal the bad stuff, I’ve got too much good stuff going for me.
My suggestion is that if you love your busy over filled life make sure you’re atleast somewhat organized. No. I seriously mean that. Don’t do what I’ve done in the past and show up at meetings at the wrong time and place or forget deadlines on projects. Otherwise you might suddenly find yourself with a lack of income streaming in and more “free time” than you planned for.
1. Get your shit together the night before. Work bag/gym bag/outfit/kid stuff/lunches/ect… I don’t care if it cuts into your 4-5-6 hours of sleep. You will not remember to pack A, B, or C at 6am.
2. Lists will become your friend. Invest in post-it notes and steal packs of them from the office. (Um… I’m kidding about the theft part, you know that right?)
3. Revise said list daily.
4. Not being organized will cut into your finances. Think about that. You barely have time to spend your discrentionary funds as it is, but wouldn’t it be nice to blow it on a swanky vacation if you play your cards right?
5. Clean up your relationships, friendships, and professional contacts. Sometimes *unfortunately* the people in your life have an expiration date. Deal with it or deal with oodles of drama. You choose.
6. Have you made a bucket list? A new year’s resolution? Are you actually doing it? Either start pursuing those passions or you’re bullshitting yourself and everyone around you. Interesting people get shit done, the boring people make excuses and those folks never get invited a second time to the party.
7. Since I don’t have an extra 6 hours in the day, I suggest meal planning. Single or not this by far saves boatloads of time. Nobody is asking what we’re eating. Make use of the crockpot and frozen veggies. I plan breakfasts, lunches/dinners/leftovers around the weekly schedual.
8. Mind your own business. I don’t care if you like watching “train wrecks” from afar, I mean who doesn’t? But don’t jump in thinking you’re going to be helpful. That’s why I cut the cable and the Bravo channel and those needy friends, it was seriously killing my time between 9pm-11pm.
9. Check out the smartphone aps, there are tons to help keep you organized with bell dinging reminders but do whatever will ultimately work for you. I have one for grocery food shopping to target sales, my calendar, my calorie intake, sleep cycle, kindle, ect.
10. Dare Greatly. Be a participant in life. For all the people who are failing to thrive, stagnant in thier dreams and bitching about what you are doing currently. Ignore them. Let go of their negativity, what credibility could they possibly have when they haven’t done anything of interest or importance? They are the joy suckers in your life. So are you going to get in the arena and participate or sit on the sidelines?
I know a LOT of this sounds harsh, but what truth isn’t? If I didn’t stick to my principles I would never get a run in or have the patience to parent a three year old and survive. Anyone who is a parent probably goes through this and none of what I just mentioned is a surprise to them, but I also urge you to not give up on what you are passionate about. Being a good parent also means being good to yourself! It means planning “me” time and “adult” time with your partner. A happy you, makes a happy kid. For those without kids this is your time hustle, baby. Check off that bucket list double time. I’ll hop down from my soap box now… I’ve got a 30k race to prep for this weekend and a marathon in T-minus two months. I will leave you with this excellent quote from Teddy Roosevelt which I use to remind myself why I do what I do and how I get it done.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910
Copious amounts of coffee also help…