So, as you all know, each week I participate in my blog friend Leigh Ann's SuperIma Sunday Check-In.
Leigh Ann is a busy mother of three kids under four. (I know, if that doesn't make you a superhero, what does?) Her husband is studying for the bar exam. She's a rabbi. And, most importantly for this current discussion, she's the kind of person who's a little bit hard on herself. (That would be the pot calling the kettle black, BTW.)
So, Leigh Ann devised a challenge where she and other moms would set weekly goals whose intent was basically to give ourselves a break. One goal is supposed to be about some responsibility we're going to let slide. The other goal is supposed to be about something enjoyable you're going to do for yourself. It's all a really great system, one that aims to improve the lives of frazzled moms everywhere.
And I managed to totally screw up on it in the past few weeks.
I started out setting goals that were in the spirit of Leigh Ann's original intent: happy, fun goals that made me feel a little better each week. And then, somewhere along the line, my obnoxious overachiever persona, the one I thought I buried after my high school graduation, came out. Suddenly I was setting those kinds of goals where I aimed to be better, faster, stronger, more tired. I told myself these goals would make me feel better about myself.
And maybe they would. But they also started stressing me out. Suddenly I began to feel inadequate and unaccomplished if I made it through the day without achieving some higher purpose, when what I should have been happy just to make it through the day.
And I don't know how to explain this, but I feel like I've lost myself in the past week or so. While I may never have been perky and optimistic, I normally feel like I have enough persistence to take a crappy situation and do what I can to make it better. This week all that persistence got lost in a sea of worry and stress and God-knows-what. Life felt sucky and I didn't even want to try to make it better.
Maybe it's an end-of-winter thing. At this point we've dealt with snow and coats and sludge and darkness for three whole months. We're all getting stir-crazy.
Or maybe I'm doing too many extracurricular activities, or I've signed my kid up for too many.
I had a conversation with my husband yesterday about how I feel guilt all the time that I'm not doing something useful and important and productive. I told him I need a break but was afraid to ask for one.
Today my husband ordered me to take a nap. (And I felt a little smug when he reported later that Nathan was poking and pestering him while he tried to get something done.)
Tomorrow we are going to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, an annual event I look forward to as a soother for my sore winter eyes. Wednesday Nathan and I are going to visit Farrah and her boys and I'm going to go to Chik-Fil-A for the first time ever! (Surprisingly, according to my Weight Watchers book, they have a lot of WW-friendly options.) I'm pleased that we're staying busy and having fun and, most importantly, not feeling guilty.
And I'm going to give up my whole "20 classes for a t-shirt" plan at the gym. I feel pretty pathetic scrapping that goal just a few days after I started it, but lately I have been finding that classes might not really be my thing right now. They're so loud with the music and the teachers barking at you every 30 seconds. I mean I usually listen to music when I do the treadmill, but at least I get to pick the music.
Bottom line: You have to exercise. You do not have to go to exercise classes.
So, this week my unofficial, completely-not-measurable, and probably unrealistic goal is to be nicer to myself. That was Leigh Ann's original intent, right? To make us feel better?
Let me make myself 100% clear here: My guilt is not the fault of Leigh Ann or her Super Ima Sunday Check-In. She was trying to make us all feel better. I'm the one who did it wrong and ended up making myself feel worse.
So here's to a week of feeling better!