Having it All Means Letting it All Go!
I had a dream the other night. I was Supermom. I had it all. Comfortable lifestyle, cute kids, great husband. And I felt trapped.
In talking with other moms, I learn this feeling is the norm more than the exception. We want it all, but don’t have our own personal definition of ‘all’. Which is a problem. If we’re achieving based on others’ expectations, we’re bound to come to a time of disappointment. On the other hand, genuinely discovering our own journey is time-expensive and not backed by some sort of cosmic guarantee!Super Mom
A wise woman once said to me that when you hang on so tight you’re squeezing, things are slipping through your fingers anyway. Hmm. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just let go? Let go of… perfectionism, keeping up, being right all the time, a particular body image, the illusion of total time control.
Now, please hear what I’m NOT saying. I’m not saying to stop being responsible. I’m not saying to stop planning, goal getting and achieving. And I’m absolutely not saying to stop dreaming!
But after we plan and consequently set our plans in motion, I think we need to do a reality check. Toddlers often don’t potty-train on schedule. Teenagers aren’t always interested in bonding during our appointed ‘quality time’. Husbands often have schedules (and ideas) of their own. The car rarely breaks down when you DON’T need it. Our career planning makes sense on paper, but classes three nights a week for two years plus full-time work and raising a family can choke the life out of anybody!
Letting go is about getting a firm grip on our expectations and being flexible even when life goes careening out of control. It’s about understanding that time management is a tool and a guideline, not a straitjacket. Most importantly, letting go is about building reality into our life dreams. For example…we can pad our schedules with extra time for the daily adventures of life or we can be continually stressed. Our choice.
We can DECIDE what success means to each of us individually and set our sights accordingly, stubbornly refusing to settle for someone else’s version of happiness. We can accept that we get 24 hours each day to…make things happen, laugh a little, love a lot, and learn to know when to call it a day.
What am I really saying? That we can learn how to focus on what truly counts for each of us, plan our energies accordingly, and then enjoy the fruits and near-fruits of our labors. We may find that our dreams will be a bit tempered and our actual days will soar with astonishing accomplishment.
And maybe even…joy.
Copyright Colleen Langenfeld 2004