Thursday, 29 December 2016

You can do anything, but not everything


Do you ever read something and you are absolutely flabbergasted that someone could feel the exact same way that you do?
I read Amy's newsletter every week, and this week she linked to a piece she wrote for The Pool on how she tried to do everything in 2016, and how she just couldn't do it.
I have never related more.

I am always trying to do everything.
I'm always trying to do more.
I'm always trying to be better.
I always feel I could be using my time more productively, could take on another hobby, need to stop being lazy, should be doing something new, should be improving, always, always, always comparing myself to other people.
I love to list all the things that I do, the commitments and hobbies I have.
The biggest compliment you can give me is, "I don't know how you do it."
I want to be an inspiration.

But I can't and I'm not.

I haven't talked about it on here because in a lot of ways I'm not quite ready to admit it, but last month I decided to take a break from my choir.
A break, I promised myself. This isn't for good.
This was the result of a miserable November where, while my social and travelling life was thriving, I was finding myself burning the candle at both ends trying to catch up with my commitments, I was exhausted, constantly overwhelmed, snappy and grumpy. My mental health was in tatters. And I knew something had to give. But I didn't want to.

I love my choir. I love the people, I love the concerts, I love to sing.
I love listing the things I do - marathon running, blogging, choir.
Was I just going to have running and blogging left? That didn't feel like much at all.
I felt like such a failure. I was giving up.
I was supposed to be the girl that did everything, and here I was, quitting.

But I was falling apart.
I was constantly ill and exhausted, I had no time to myself at all. I was trying to do everything and I was miserable.

My Diploma in Professional Marketing is the equivalent of a degree and it needs at least 4 hours of work every week, some weeks it's more like 6 or 8. 
I thought it would be easy enough to slip into my Sundays to replace my marathon training runs, but the reality was it needs much more time than that, and I was really struggling to find the time to fit in this work.
So I had to put my career first.
Mondays, as well as weekends, have become evenings for study. And I had to say goodbye to choir for a while. 

There are so many things I want to do.
I want to start a newsletter like Amy and Michelle.
I want to start playing piano again.
I want to blog more.
I want to learn a language.
I want to practice more photography.
I want to create more.

But Amy puts this perfectly in her post -

"I had somehow absorbed the notion that, unless I was doing everything, I might as well be doing nothing – but each of the things I was doing was good on its own. I had tied my self-worth to the amount of things I could do, rather than my personality or the value of the things I was doing, and worked myself ragged trying to feel worthwhile because of it."

I do have goals for 2017, of course, and I'll be posting them soon. But my goals this year are more about doing more of what makes me happy, not doing more for the sake of doing more. 

We can do anything, but not everything.

Charlotte x

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