About Guilt, Gratitude, & Eggs for Dinner
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a bit of a snob when it comes to blog content. If it hasn’t been updated in a few months and offers no explanation, then frankly, I’m not impressed.
So this is what happened: I discovered two days ago that this blog has just been mentioned in Elle Arab World – and with a very postive write-up at that. The problem: Anyone who picked up the magazine over the weekend and might have been compelled to check this blog would see that the last post just before this one was published more than 3 months ago! AAaaaarrrghhh!
So what’s the deal, why haven’t I been writing? Sure, I’ve been insanely busy, busier perhaps than I’ve ever been in my life – but then I should have no lack of things to talk about. Let’s see.. I’m starting a new business in a totally new field, renovating a house, organizing a women’s’ retreat for the spring, keeping up with my workouts, making time to spend with my little girls and hubby and to keep my household running in some semblance of order. Some….Semblance. I’ve avoided becoming a social outcast by making an effort to see friends, support important events, and generally show up. And all this with about half my normal energy since I am about 5 months pregnant. But so what? There are women all over the world who are doing all this and more, and WITHOUT childcare, mind you – which is not my case, thank you, dear God.
So those are not the reasons why I haven’t been writing. Frankly, it’s the pressure of all of you out there actually reading what I have to say. When I started the blog, I was doing it just for me – as a personal challenge to show myself what I could come up with. If someone read it and liked it, yay! If not hey, no biggie. But then, people started reading. Acquaintances approached me to tell say ‘I love your blog!’ (Thank you). I’ve been mentioned in a couple of magazines, front-paged on Freshly Pressed (which brought in 5,000+ hits in 48 hours..) and I have a bunch of subscribers..(in plural, not just my mom).. and suddenly I feel this pressure to be… I don’t know…worthy!
So I’ve used ‘busy’ as my reason for not posting, but I think it’s time to admit that it’s a pretty lame excuse. It does feel great to be this engaged though. Exhausting, granted, but amazing to be creating, to see real momentum happening in my projects, to see my business starting to take shape, to see walls being torn down and rebuilt in our new apartment, to watch our kids discovering the world and to see my stomach getting bigger every day. There is growth all around me, and it’s addictive. About 18 months ago, I was trapped in a negative cycle of complaining that I didn’t have enough to do, and then feeling guilty for complaining, round and round and on and on ad nauseam. At one point, I also had a considerable amount of fear associated with taking all of this on. But in the last few months I’ve learned a really, really important lesson – several actually:
- Not only is it OK to want more – it’s a basic human need to want to grow, expand, and learn. We should never feel bad about that.
- Wanting more does NOT mean that we are not grateful for what we already have – ambition and gratitude are not mutually exclusive.
- There is no such thing as work/life balance. Truly, when you see these incredible multi-passionate super successful women and say “Wow, how do they do it all?” Trust me, they’re not doing it all, at least not all on their own and not on the same day. It takes planning, asking for help when you need it, (this particular point has been a HUGE revelation to me) and the acceptance that it’s ok once in a while if the kids have scrambled eggs for dinner. They kinda like it actually.
- Gratitude is a powerful force. When you begin to make a regular habit of practicing gratitude on a daily basis, your perception shifts, and with it, your world.
So, since this is probably my last post for 2011, I leave you with a few thoughts.
- Meaningful lives don’t happen by accident. Let’s find the time in the next couple of weeks to reflect on our past year, and make some big plans for the next one. For some of you, those big plans may actually involve slowing down, which is good too. Give yourself an annual review – there is a good guide here, and put a real plan in place for the next 12 months. Just the act of writing down your goals starts to put them in motion.
- If you want to dig a little deeper into what makes you tick but find that a difficult thing to do, check this out this chapter by Danielle La Porte, she’s pretty awesome.
- Let’s agree to catch ourselves when we get on a complaining carousel, it makes us fuzzy in the head and gets us nowhere. Step off and get some perspective. Again: ask for help.
- And finally, practice gratitude. For little things, big things, things that haven’t even happened yet. I’ll go first: Thank you for reading. And Merry Christmas :)