I’m currently going through a phase at the moment. I’m not sure who I am right now but I know what I’m trying to be. I’m trying to be a career woman. A great girlfriend. A good daughter. A caring friend. A blogger. A dog-mum. Sister. Aunt. Quite frankly, the list is endless. I don’t know exactly how I got to this point, or even why. But I do know this: I’m absolutely bloody knackered.
Obviously, I am of all of these things without necessarily making the choice to do so. But I don’t want to just be all of these things. I’m trying to consciously be good at them. And perhaps therein lies the problem.
Take the Mrs Hinch phenomenon as an example. Mrs Hinch is an Instagram sensation who had rapidly grown followers in a number of weeks simply by showing us all how to achieve a clean house. Products she recommends have literally sold out. Before actually watching, I did the typical: ‘Pft, this won’t touch me!’ But you know what? I’m obsessed. I loathe cleaning the house but enter Mrs Hinch and suddenly I’m clearing out my kitchen cupboards and scrubbing them like there’s no tomorrow. So now add ‘domestic goddess’ to my ever-growing list. Fab.
I hasten to add that absolutely nobody is telling me I should be better than I am. Never have I had a conversation with a mate who’s mentioned I’m a shit friend and that I must do better. Oh no, it’s all me. I can’t even pretend that I’m simply trying to please everyone because – somewhat selfishly – although I obviously like people around me to be happy, I get a buzz from being successful in different elements of my life, however small. Be that nailing a home-cooked meal for Matt and I or getting all my work done way before the deadline.
It might also be worth mentioning that I’m not trying to perfect. The issue is not a need to be perfect. I’m aware that’s never going to happen and I’ve always been content with knowing I was never going to be an A* student, drop dead gorgeous or a talented pianist. I think the issue is striving to tick all the boxes of that which I think I should be.
I suppose it is the equivalent of juggling lots of balls. Initially, you’re quite chuffed with yourself but eventually, you lose concentration and ultimately, control. And this is my fear. I am not there yet but I can see how easy I could slip up. Which is why this blog post came about, in an effort to lay down my cards and examine everything closely.
Ultimately, I need to accept that it is ok to not to be everything all of the time. That some days my house may look like a mess but I have a fridge full of food and have finally booked that dentist appointment. I’m working on focusing on what I’ve achieved already rather than all the things I haven’t. And if nobody else is putting pressure on myself to be better than I am, then why on earth am I putting it on myself?
Perhaps it is placing too much importance on things that frankly don’t need necessarily need my attention at that moment. One day, cleaning my house until it is sparkly and tidy might be a priority and I might not even think about my blog. On another, stepping away from social media and being fully present at a family event may be the order of the day. I’ve no doubt this subject is a work in progress that I think I’ll always be tackling. I’m fully aware that something in me will always find yet another ‘thing’ to add to the list. But like with pretty much everything in life, it’s striking that balance between what you are capable of and what you want to achieve.
But I’m getting there. Kinda.