Mom had it right: you can’t do everything

My mom used to say, “Ashly you can’t do everything.” And she’s right (go figure).

It’s taken me awhile to realize that doing anything, and doing everything are two very different things. I know my mom knew I could do anything I wanted to, but she knew from experience you can’t do everything all at once. It’s just not possible. And it’s not healthy.

This has always been a hard pill for me to swallow because I am used to taking on multiple commitments at once. I enjoy being busy. In high-school I had a part time job, went to school and had cross country or basketball practice after school. In university, I had a full time course load, a part time job, and volunteer commitments. Before I had a full time job I had 2 or 3 part time jobs all at once.

I feel like people praise you (at least in this part of the world) when you are able to be the ultimate multi-tasker and still look good in the morning. Our ‘role model’ celebrities these days are perfect examples of this. No one person is just an actress anymore… or just a singer… they usually also hold the titles of entrepreneur, director, producer, model, game show host, ambassador to the U.N., writer of their own TV show and dancing with the stars participant to their resume.  But the honest truth was I was exhausted…. I bet celebrities are too… they just happen to have butlers, drivers, trainers and cooks at their disposal to cover it up.

Ok back to my original point: when I overwork or over commit myself the outcome is never positive. Most recently I found, I would be excelling at work, but failing in my home life. I never got to see Andrew, and didn’t help out around the apartment with cooking or cleaning. I was too tired and when I did get home I was usually in a bad mood because of my constant fatigue.

I had no time to work out or have any me time or down time or blogging time! It wasn’t fair to Andrew and it wasn’t fair to me. You think I would have learned my lesson. But when I recently started a full-time job (first full time job in over a year!) I actually was tempted at the idea to get a second job on top of my full time job.

Just once a week at a retail store I told myself. Nothing big just some extra cash flow. I didn’t need to but felt like I should, or could. More money is always good when you live in an expensive city like Vancouver and the retail store in question already promised me a job if I wanted it. And think of the employee discount I’ll get!

I had to shake myself out of it and think… wait a minute… is several hours of work at a second job I don’t need worth wasting my whole Saturday or Sunday working? Is it worth hurting my relationship or my time to relax? Maybe if I was single. Maybe if I needed the money. But I am in neither of those situtations. So why do I feel the need to keep going? To over commit and to overwork?

What I have come to realize for me personally is that it comes down to a need, or perhaps a desire, to take advantage of every immediate opportunity that wants to take advantage of me. And these offered opportunities make me feel special and needed. I feel in demand and important. If it’s offered why not take it?

But all those ‘amazing’ and ‘available’ opportunities have the potential to be just as harmful, as they have the potential to be great, if you take on all of them at once. The hard part is to set your priorites and goals and let the other opportunities go (no matter how fun or convenient or wonderful they may seem). If they are not a part of your ultimate life goal then they are not worth your time. And, they will still be there should you ever change your priorities.

I feel like Oprah would call this an “ah-HA” moment… Let’s face it, that woman knows what she’s talking about…

My “ah-HA” moment has resulted in this: I am learning to say no more often and more importantly teaching myself to not feel guilty about it. So now I am JUST working ONE full time job and focusing 120% on that, because this job and career path is a part of my life goals.

And you know what else is apart of my life goals? Being a great wife, blogger, friend, daughter, sister, runner, snowboarder, tennis player, yoga girl, amateur photographer, cook (fingers crossed), listener… person. And I don’t want to take on anything else unless it helps me at being better at any one of those things.


2 thoughts on “Mom had it right: you can’t do everything

  1. Very insightful – you are learning little grasshopper 🙂 The grasshopper part is from the old kung fu movies that was on TV years ago.

    Love ya.

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