Who knew that today’s blog idea would come from a Facebook post? Yesterday, a friend posted that she found homemade “thank you” cards her child made from a birthday party back in July. She asked if she should send them considering it is now January. Just about everyone said, “Send!”
What struck me more was a response to the post, “Seriously? You just made 15 bagel and peanut butter sandwiches and bird feeders; taught us all the similarities and differences between MLK day and birds [Huh?]; restructured a school system; and helped us find what is different, therefore special about us in one hour. Believe me, you have your act together!”
While I commend the friend who posted this response for giving the originator of the message acknowledgment, I was also struck by the story behind the “thank you” card post. I am sure you would agree that many of you have had similar worries about whether you were doing something “good enough.” My question is, are we doing too much? What exactly is “enough?”
Frankly, I don’t know the answer. It is practically in our genes to do it all. Remember the hunter versus gatherer? Let’s take a typical morning in my apartment. My lovely husband, who is a great helper around the house, gets up in the morning, feeds the cats, makes coffee, and relaxes on the couch with our two cats by his side. Once he feels relaxed and woken up, it is time for him to start his day. I find this truly incredible.
On the flip side, I wake up and notice the following: the dishes weren’t done last night because we were too tired, the bed needs to be made, OH! the laundry, the humidifier should be filled, there is cat barf of the floor, I need to write wedding thank you notes, and….. Well, you know how this ends – It doesn’t because the list goes on. So like a little tornado, I run around the house, taking care of all that is in front of me. Sometimes, this tornado runs around all day – running errands, baking, cleaning, or “something.” “Something” is that thing you knew to be important at the time, but if you had to account for what you did all day, you couldn’t. You just knew you did a lot of well, “something.” Then, 9 o’clock rolls around and it is time to close out the day. Wait! What happened to my day? Meanwhile, Jon was able to get through his list of tasks and watch a football game?
When we first lived together, I used to ask Jon, “How do you do it? The mess does not bother you?” His response, “No. Besides, I need to slowly get into the day.” Now, I am used to this and we laugh over our different ways of doing things.
OK. So my personal example is not about saving a school district, like my friend. I think we each have our own way of doing “too much.” Again, however, is it really too much or is it who we are? Admittedly, I commend women I know who give so much of themselves and only guide them to slow down when I see them worn out and not taking care of themselves.
What do you think? Is there a clear line between doing enough and doing too much? Does there even need to be?