January 23, 2013

Don't Do It All

In the midst of a world shouting, "Do it all!"; let me whisper, "Don't do it all. Find the sweet spot and do that."


If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed in the fall I went from posting five days a week to three. This was intentional. I found that for this season in my life, writing three posts a week is my sweet spot. It took me awhile to come to that decision and a ton of struggling to let go of the other two days. But I'm so grateful I did. The posts I share are more me. Getting them ready doesn't stress me, it's a good fit. But if I had pushed myself and held on to doing it all, I would have continued at a pace I wasn't suited for, and probably burned out.
I recently whittled my closet down to about twenty things. It's my everything-fits-and-I-really-like-these-clothes sweet spot. I'm attempting to declutter my house and make it simple.  Minimalism decor is becoming my sweet spot. I share these things because it's taken me many years to come to these places and be okay with little or confining myself to boundaries.
I've lived a life of guilt for not being able to do it all. I still fight against it. But I'm getting there and the burden is lifting.

Why is it we think we must have it all, be it all and do it all? 

Are we invincible? Do we have limitless strength and energy? 


No one can literally do it all. We know this, and yet...we try. I'm not saying we shouldn't strive to better ourselves and reach for challenging goals. But being realistic about what we can handle seems blurred.

Be Honest

What do you naturally gravitate to? I'm naturally a homebody who loves quiet and books. I still enjoy getting out with people, interacting and enjoying them; but too much of it wears me out. Knowing this has given me freedom say no to invitations and not always go to everything. Simply being honest in this way has reduced my stress level.


Be You

Sure I may love seeing quilts and browsing scrapbooking magazines, but that doesn't mean I have to sew quilts or create scrapbooks. I can enjoy what others do without having to do them myself. It took me awhile to be okay with the fact that I don't like to go out as much as my friends, that my house doesn't look as adorable as others and my outfits are more comfy than fashionable. But once I began to embrace these things about myself, I could make better judgments about what I could and couldn't do.


Find Your Sweet Spot

Defining what is most important to you will determine all the other decisions in your life. My family is one of my sweet spots. If something I want to do will take too much time away from them, then I take it off my list. I won't always have kids in my home and this is a choice I make to be with them while they are here. Quiet time is also one of my sweet spots. That sounds odd, but I'm one of those people who needs quiet to process. If I go too long without some quiet time to myself, I start shutting down. I don't have as much energy or patience to handle hard situations. Knowing that about myself, I make sure I have some quiet time each day.

If we all streamline our focus from doing it all to doing a few things really well, I believe we'll change the world for the better and be less weary or broken in the end. 

What are your thoughts on this?



Photos: //Coffee Ring ~ a thoughtful birthday gift from my daughter//A Portrait of Me ~ created by a sweet friend as we were chatting over coffee//New Journals ~ for the new year//Polka Dot Wallet ~ snagged during a major sale//

19 comments :

  1. This post is so nice and sweet! I completely hear where you are coming from with "finding the sweet spot", something I am constantly in search of! With a full time job, an etsy shop, and a blog to write, it is so hard to find a balance that feels right sometimes! Thanks for sharing your insight, have a wonderful day!
    xo Hannah

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    1. I know, Hannah, that sweet spot is hard to find sometimes in our busy lives. I've certainly missed it often and had to find it by trial and error. Thanks for your kind thoughts. :)

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  2. I love this post! I always look forward to what you post daily. xx. McKenna Lou
    www.lynnandlou.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, that really means a lot to me. :)

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  3. Love this post, that sweet spot is not easy to find sometimes but I also try to do it. Time with myself, my inner work and time to develop creativity are some of my sweet spots.

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    1. Those are wonderful sweet spots, Zena. :)

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  4. I've decided that my sweet spot is one post a week. I love to blog, but I have so many other things going on that I can't justify taking that time away from my family, my job, or my writing. I have so many friends and coworkers who are always inviting me to do MORE, and getting outside my comfort zone is important, but I'd really like to do LESS, to have more time at home. So for me, taking on too much is almost a peer pressure thing. Does that make sense? I have a hard time saying "no," and when I do say it, people don't take me seriously because they can sense my reluctance.

    I agree with you, though. Live is more enjoyable when you don't cram it full to bursting.

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    1. Yes, that totally makes sense. It's hard to let people down. They probably have good intentions, but only we can know what's best for us.

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  5. Im like you I need alone/me time

    LOVE your coffee ring and the portrait

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    1. We have to guard that, don't we? Thank you, Jen. :)

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  6. I see, I see. You totally got me. I know how you feel. Like, I'd rather be here than out there. I do this... all the time. I'm one of those people, too. And I'm glad I found you as one of those. Thank you for this. This just reminded me that I'm not aloof. I am just who I am. :P

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    1. Exactly, Debie. It's good to learn the balance of what keeps us connected to others but doesn't max us out. :)

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  7. i really needed to read this. sometimes i struggle with comparing how different my wants/needs are to others and i just need to accept and embrace it! you're inspiring!

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    1. Camille, I'm so glad it inspired you! I know that struggle well. Sometimes we think our wants/needs have to match those of the people we admire; instead of seeing the value in who we truly are. I wish you well on your journey to embrace it! *hugs*

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  8. Wonderful and thought-provoking post Catherine. As a new empty-nester, I could not agree with you more about sticking to what's important. Life goes by fast and if you're a parent, those kiddos get married in a blink and move out. I seems like just yesterday we were sitting on the living room floor playing Candy Land.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. Your words got me teary, but in a good way. I don't want to miss these moments and I need to be reminded often to take notice.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this post, Catherine! It really resonated with me and was exactly what I needed. I'm always trying to do it all and continue to struggle with the guilt of not being able to. No one is putting all this pressure on me but myself. It's crazy! Still learning and will read this post again as a continued reminder.

    Have a lovely day!

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    1. I'm happy it was what you needed to hear, Jamie. I struggle against this constantly so I know the battle it is!

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  10. a great post, and some good advice there, be honest, find your sweet spot, I like that. Heather x

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