When “Ok” is Enough, Fantastic Even
Has anyone else felt their life pace slow down with the summer heat and the feeling of vacation in the air? It could just be me, which I’m
fine with. Recently, I’ve tuned into a shift within me around how I go about my day and my weeks. The slowness and reduced pressure to perform, provide and execute is new. The increased quality of sleep is splendid. But, the subtle anxiety and guilt from not feeling like I have too much to do surely is not.
I’m a first timer with this B+ performance thing. I spent my entire 20s juggling several octopus tendrils with a variety of personal and professional duties each carrying their own unique task list. And I thrived in this. Of course, yes, I was exhausted and unhealthy and lacked sleep if you are asking. But, there was a level of comfort in the strain of seeking more, of doing more, of having more!
I wonder why so many of us women struggle with perfectionism and high performance? I wonder why it feels more comfortable for us to compromise physical health, emotional well-being and quality relationships in order to prove our worth through multi-tasking and achievement. Surely, when we break this down out loud it sounds absurd. But, there is something truly innate and intrinsic in the seeking of having and doing more. My mind has been pondering through these questions and observations, and I wonder if anyone else can relate.
- Who are we trying to impress by high achievement? Would anyone else notice if we worked harder or less?
- In the quiet stillness that we are trained to avoid a quiet whisper emerges within us to grow in ways larger than ourselves. Do we have the courage to listen and respond?
- What empty part of us is the busy-ness filling up? What would we need to acknowledge is missing in this quiet space?
- Can we love ourselves in this imperfection, in our moments of slack or laziness? Are we still good enough? Have we failed in some way?
- Do we uphold other women to this same standard of perfection in body image, parenting, and career?
- What happens when we break the cycle of perpetual and constant labor? What changes in our marriage, our friendships and our health?
- Do we isolate ourselves by not keeping up with the momentum of “too much”? Can we make peace with the opportunities that pass us by?
I believe this is a challenge for many women, including myself. But even in the discomfort, there is something truly beautiful in the release of “having it all”. It means that we have enough right now, and we have the space and time to revel in that. It means that we don’t need more, more, more (which means work more, more, more). It means we get to have freedom to love our life right now in the ugly, the incomplete, and the imperfect.