4 March 2013

When to Give it a Rest...

I was pondering this thought last night as I soaked in the bath reading Prevention Magazine. I love Prevention Magazine, but sometimes it reads like "5,000 ways to make over your life while simultaneously driving yourself completely insane." Eat strawberries this way, but never eat them that way. 120 ways to do squats. 531 ways to tie a ponytail. AHHHHHHHHH.

One of my New Year's resolutions/vows to myself/long term goals is to simplify my life. A couple of posts back I talked about the concept of self-care. I want to talk about this more right now and also in future posts. I am finding that while I think it is important to continually work on self-improvement, it is equally important to know when to give it a rest; and how to find that balance. Often times, my mind is like a hamster wheel spinning round and round. I have a spare five minutes; how can I fill it? Find my purpose. Find my calling. Am I happy? How's my marriage? Do I have enough friends? Am I getting enough sleep? Why don't I volunteer more? What did I eat today? Should I be working out more? Am I smart enough? Am I strong enough? Am I nice enough? Or maybe I'm too nice? The list goes on and on. Basically, a lot of first world problems! Hahaha!

I can't help but wonder if this frame of mind is some sort of over-compensation for the lack of control I have in other areas of my life. But I feel like I am surrounded by voices telling me in some way, shape, or form that I'm not good enough. All of this talk about what more we could be doing with our lives tends to take the focus off of how far we have already come, and also takes away our power as individuals to decide for ourselves what is "best" for us. We don't even have to think about what we want, because everyone and everything around us is telling us what we should want. Instead of celebrating how worthy and fabulous we are as people/women/spouses/friends/etc. we keep filling our heads each day with these voices of inadequacy. I feel like part of simplifying my life involves quieting this noise. Bringing it down a couple of notches, if you will. I recently unsubscribed from a really popular "mommy blog" because the insistence on perfection was just too much. I found myself rolling my eyes more than I was actually feeling happy for this woman and what she contributes to the world, and my life, for that matter. Unsubscribe. One less voice in the sea.

Maybe I'm over-analyzing? I don't know. I often find myself battling with issues of identity as well as this notion of "being an adult" and what I "should" be doing at any given moment of the day. But every now and then, I need to remind myself that I am generally doing okay as I am. Sit down. Relax. Quiet the voices of inadequacy. I'll be fine if I didn't eat twelve pounds of quinoa today. Breathe.



8 comments:

  1. This post is coming at the perfect point in my life, you have no idea. #1 as much as I LOVE reading blogs (I've been reading yours for a while)...seriously?! There is no way these women live like this! My favorite blogs are where the writers are real, things are raw, it's not always perfect. I love the unsubscribe button #2 I'm at a point where I have zero control over my life. I'm really pissed off about it and find myself alternating fits of crying and screaming. #3 My new years resolution was to remove all negativity from my life. So that was a bit extreme, but I'm removing a lot of it and it's really working. If you don't bring joy to my life...don't let the door hit you in the ass. I love your blog, Carly. Thanks for keeping it real (I hate that expression, btw...but it fits)

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  2. I love this post. I can totally relate, it's like you read my mind! I can't help but compare myself to other women and moms out there even though I know I shouldn't. I subscribe to a few blogs and Instagram profiles, where I find myself saying, "REALLY?! " all the time. Hell, sometimes maybe even some people say that about my pics and posts I share. It's hard not to want to try to keep up with joneses. Anyways, I am rambling now but i'm also working on bringing more positivity in my life and telling myself I am just as good as those other moms and women out there. I've had a rough year and there's no where else to go but up. :)

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  3. Amen! Being a "project person", it's hard to just "be still" sometimes. There was a great Sex in the City episode that questioned, "Are we shoulding ourselves to death?" That question stuck with me. Then I saw "Hit and Run" last night, and it had something that stuck with me too. Taking a few deep breathes and just enjoying the life we have is awesome. I discovered it on a recent vacation with the husband just the 2 of us. Rediscovering him and me and that we're different, but a great team... It's great to stop and smell the roses. ;)

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  4. Balance. . . oh the magic word. If only I could find it! Ha! I often find myself so busy outside of the home that I don't have a lot of time for chores when home. Sometimes I feel guilty when I choose to lay around and relax instead of cleaning. But then I just figure it is better for me to relax and the chores will still be there the next day. It is a good thing I'm not a clean freak or I would never be able to let the cleaning go. I have decided that getting enough rest/down time is much more important for my emotional and physical health!!! And happy to "hear" your voice again!

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  5. @jennypittsburgh: Thank you so much for your insights and kind words! I have gotten so frustrated lately reading certain blogs that I used to love that are now just flat annoying with their need to make everything seem perfect. I find myself searching desperately for bloggers that are real and raw, as you said. And, yes, sometimes hitting that unsubscribe button is the best gift we can give ourselves! :)

    @Kendall: It is SO hard not to want to keep up with the Joneses! I can't even imagine how much more complex it gets when you have children. It seems like some parents are just out of control competitive. Yikes. I'll raise my hand and say I am totally jealous of your Instagram photos! You have the most gorgeous daughter and the cutest family ever. It is heartwarming how much joy she brings you! Hoping your year just gets better and better. :)

    @J.Darling: Yay for Sex and the City! I remember that episode. :) I'm so glad you and your husband had a great vacation! I have definitely been out of the blogging loop lately, but it is so nice to hear from you again. Wishing you guys the best!

    @Jodi: Hahaha, I totally understand re: cleaning. I am often too wiped out to clean anything at the end of the day. So I push it to the weekends, and it still rarely gets done. It is a cycle of guilt! I'm glad to hear you take time for yourself to relax. We all need some down time! It is so important.

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  6. I have really cut down my blog reading for this reason alone. Some blogs felt like High School mean girls- aka their lives are perfect. My house is constantly a mess, we live pay check to pay check, and make much less then our siblings (talk about keeping up with the Joneses), BUT I now make an effort to enjoy the smallest things- eating fresh artichoke for dinner, buying a new blush and new sheets- even if they are from Target, etc. This digital age can really mess with your mind on what is important. I'd rather snuggle with my puppy. I have always been impressed with your insight and openness- your voice is fantastic. Thank you for putting into words what I never could. This life journey is tough stuff.

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  7. I recently cleaned up my Google Reader and realize that I should have done it sooner! It's so hard not to compare yourself to others but I just try not to beat myself up too much about it. I'm doing the best I can with what I can.

    Have you read Momastery? I really like it and feel it's one of the true and honest "mommy" blogs, but it touches on so much more.

    P.S - Happy to see you back blogging! :)

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  8. @Sugar: Thank you so much, K. I miss reading your blog! Although I do try to keep up with your beautiful life with Sugar Bear through Instagram as much as possible. :) I love what you mentioned about enjoying life's little details. It makes us so much more grateful for what we have. <3

    @Heidi: I couldn't agree more about doing the best you can. I try to remind myself of that daily. I don't follow Momastery, but have heard of it. Thanks for the rec! I'll definitely check it out. And, thank you, Heidi. It's great to be back to (sorta) blogging!

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