Duh. Because I’m human, not super-human. That’s why I can’t do everything.
That’s the easy answer, but it’s true. Yet, I must not really believe it because I still try to do more than is humanly possible to accomplish in a day, week, or month. I suppose I took to heart that sage wisdom about aiming high because even if you fall short, you’ll still end up among the stars.
Anyhow, I try to take on more than I can reasonably get done…and then beat myself up with guilt for not marking everything off my list. I could set the bar lower, but I’m a recovering perfectionist who thinks that the world is watching and judging me based on my performance. (At least I’m past the feed-the-baby-and-change-diapers stage of life.)
Case in point? This overwhelming feeling of hypocrisy when sharing practical advice and wisdom with other authors. I’ve written a comprehensive set of blog posts about a wide variety of topics and will likely compile them all into a book to make it easy for others to get access to all of the information and possibly earn a little cash on the side to support my writing obsession. However, over and over as I wrote about these wonderful and often easy ways to promote books and juggle all of the marketing while still writing…I felt like I was staring into a mirror with a wagging finger aimed my direction. I couldn’t help but see all the things I should be doing. Should be, but I’m not.
It doesn’t just happen in my writing world. I’m also striving for balance in all areas of life, yet can’t help seeing undone projects and goals everywhere I turn. From my squishy muffin-top-ish waistline to the dust-covered and cluttered scrapbooking table to that teetering pile of books I’ve been meaning to list on Amazon to generate a little more spending money. I could devote hours to one area, feel a sense of satisfaction in a job well done…then turn around and get smacked in the face with guilt over all the other things still to do. Not to mention the new things that snuck onto my proverbial plate—like the weeds in my flower bed—while I was occupied elsewhere.
Want to know why I can’t do everything? Because I’m human. And there will always be things to do. It will never all get done. And there’s freedom there. Not the freedom to give up completely, but the freedom to be realistic.
Even if it won’t all get done, I can still be about the business of doing. Even if I never reach that lofty goal I’m aiming at, I’ll still end up further than if I had never tried. So the better question to ask is did I make progress today? Did I take a baby step or two in the direction I want to go?
I may not be able to get everything done, but as long as I made some sort of measurable progress today, I’m giving myself permission to relax and enjoy the journey.