We cancelled plans with friends last Sunday because I was under the weather. I was frustrated, and sitting around all night trying to rest had me overthinking and stressing. The hubs asked what was wrong because he’s a pretty intuitive guy (and I wear my heart on my… face).
Time, Stress, and Expectations
The conversation made its way to the familiar topic of comparing my to-do list to my abilities and time. Oh, sweet, elusive time. I shared my thoughts on all I want to accomplish and all the goals I have. I discussed the internal conflict this creates with my desire to do less, have less, and stress less. Friends, I have #Allthegoals. Seriously, I see really far into the future with what I want to do and sometimes forget things actually take time. I want peace and satisfaction in my work and life; however my rush and stress to do it all interferes. I think that whole “Rome wasn’t built in a day” thing applies here…
Long story short, I was absolutely shocked to hear myself say this to my hubs. “I’m afraid if I’m peaceful and content after work that you (read: everyone) will think I’m not working very hard.” I didn’t know I felt that way, so my mind was blown. Through this conversation I discovered that my stress and physical discomfort over what I have yet to accomplish was my way of showing to the world my life isn’t where I want it to be yet… but I’m busting my ass to get it there.
W O W. You guys, I could bust my ass and then be peaceful and content and F U N after work. In this scenario, you really can have your cake and eat it too, which leads to better quality of life! My anxiety was my way of showing people I have high expectations and am not satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. I don’t always care what people think of me, but I’ve always highly valued work ethic and character. Apparently I’m afraid my happiness and peace might show people I’m not working very hard… that my goals are lesser, or I am lazy. Ask any entrepreneur. Especially in the early stages, it’s hard to find someone who really encourages you and doesn’t secretly wonder why you don’t just work for someone else. I guess I feel I have a lot to prove.
What was Kyle’s response? He was shocked. He proceeded to convince me in such a loving way this was crazy, and he has never once thought anything of the sort. He’s amazing and supportive and has never implied I was doing anything less than great. I absolutely couldn’t do life without his support and encouragement. My gift to him in return? Mistakenly assuming his love language is anxiety, tense muscles, and a tired wife. Nailed it.
I wanted to share this because I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. I know I’m not the only woman out there anxious and stressed because I don’t think I’m enough.
…because my contentment will make people think I’m lazy or have low standards or aspirations.
…because I’ve bought into the lie that busyness and stress are signs of importance and something to brag about and compare with others.
I know I’m not the only one who bought into the lie that peace comes only after the job is done, and it doesn’t belong on the journey.
I’m 100% confident there are more of you who are showing in weird and unhealthy ways that you love and value your family or an opportunity or job you have. :)
America rocks… but I hate the busy trap. And I’ve been extremely intentional over the last year to cut down my screen time, set strict work hour boundaries, and take time off to play. This sneaky, hidden mindset caught me so off guard. I have other stressors, and I’m working on those, but I’m thankful this one came to light. I bought into the busy culture mindset, while actively opposing it in the physical.
So to all you ladies, stressed out, overworked, worrying, calculating, unable to wind down and rest, you are enough.
You are enough.
Worth Fighting For
Peace is worth fighting for, worth risking people thinking you’re lazy for, worth getting rid of responsibilities for, worth down-sizing for. Peace is a huge part of mental, physical, and spiritual health. Don’t let it slip away. So go ahead, talk to your spouse, friend, dog, cat, and see if you have any underlying, sneaky, toxic mindsets that you need to expose and kick to the curb.
I just want to remind you that it’s OK if you’re a work in progress. We all are. Anyone who’s made it is a liar. You are enough. No one will live up to the crazy standards we’ve set for women: cook, clean, business professional, always stylish, run the house, help with homework, always look great, fit and thin, involved in the community, organized, etc etc. Oh my- that list makes me break out in hives! And it’s not even covering most daily tasks, am I right?! You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to be good at everything. Do you hear me? Let it go, bust your ass when you need to, and let yourself rest and enjoy your not-so-perfect life.
There’s freedom in that, friends. See it, take it, live it. Share this with anyone you know who could benefit from this verbal hug.
Thanks for allowing me to be vulnerable and share my struggles and thoughts with you! I love my job, and I love doing life with my Fit Tutor readers and members!