Yo, Yo Ma: Be Easy on Yourself

99 problemsLast week was one of my decidedly un-zen, neurotic roller coaster type of weeks. Have you ever found yourself so completely overwhelmed that someone asks you what your deal is and all you can do is stammer nonsensical half sentences at them? Yeah. That was me.

If I force myself to sit here and think about it, the truth is that all of my feelings of inadequacy were entirely self imposed. I decided early on in the week that I was behind and not accomplishing enough. I can even pinpoint the moment it started.

Last Monday morning I climbed into the car after grocery shopping and strapping the toddler into her seat and looked at the clock. I was ecstatic. It wasn’t even 11 o’clock and I had gotten the girls fed, made sure Sam was dressed and on the bus, worked out, showered, dressed myself and the babe, and done a major grocery shopping trip. I was giving myself imaginary high fives and reaching back to pat myself on the back when reality struck. I hadn’t changed the clock in my car—which meant that instead of almost 11 o’clock it was almost 12 o’clock. Womp, womp, wooooooomp.

Now, that doesn’t seem like a huge thing right? It had just taken me an hour longer than I thought and I had still accomplished everything on the list that I had been so excited about. But I immediately tensed up and grew angry with myself for not moving faster. Almost noon meant that lunch needed to be prepared as soon as the groceries were put away which meant that by the time I was totally settled and dishes were washed and diapers were changed it would probably be close to 2. Which meant that I would have a measly hour to try and get any work done before Samantha got home from school.

My perception was immediately skewed to the negative. I was suddenly not working out hard enough. My house wasn’t clean enough. I wasn’t a good enough mother or friend. I wasn’t nice enough. I just wasn’t enough.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of loads of laundry, scheduled two doctors appointments and got a little bit of work done before Sam walked through the door. Today I sit here and think, Shit. That was a productive day. But last week it wasn’t good enough. And I set myself up for an entire week of not being good enough.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we constantly harp on the things we didn’t do instead of giving ourselves props for what we managed to get done despite all of the obstacles in our way?

I would be a million times more productive (and not to mention more pleasant to be around) if I would just stop picking on myself. If I treated myself the way I treat others. Why is that so difficult?

Do you suffer from this same problem? Or are you a lot kinder to yourself?

If you’re like me (even if you’re not!), I want to know what you did accomplish. Today, yesterday, whenever. What did you manage to get done against whatever odds were stacked against you?

PS I don’t know why I needed to include an obscure reference to an award-winning cellist in my title but I did. And it makes me laugh. So it stays. 😀

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11 Comments

  1. Oh girl. I see so much of myself in you. I actually just talked about this last week at marriage counseling (best thing ever… just so you know haha). Unbeknownst to me (and him), I’ve lived with my husband’s voice in my head that constantly criticizes me for not getting enough done. Has he EVER said these things? No. But I’d convinced myself that he had. And totally been beating myself up over it. I’m learning to only listen to REAL voices… ugh. How neurotic am I?
    Jordan recently posted…Munchkin Baby Round Two

    1. Oh. my. gosh. YES.

      I can’t tell you how often I’m straight up BOILING with fury because of something I think my husband thinks. He doesn’t have to say or do anything. I decide I know what he’s thinking and I rage. And don’t even get me started on what happens when he wants to know what’s wrong with me. Lol.

      I guess I should start working on listening to REAL voices too…

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