Sunday, 29 May 2011

I am not what I do

I always want to do and be more. I have the kind of personality who always wants to achieve more and I want to be one of those people who make a difference. Throw in some perfectionism, being a dreamer and problem solver, naive optimism and a bit of arrogance and you have a recipe for completely unrealistic expectations of what one person can do. Often these expectations come with total blindness to the lack of energy and exhaustion in my actual life and the very long list of basics I am not managing to keep on top of. I have wondered for a long time why I continually have this tension between my actual life and all the things I wish I could do as well.

Here is a list of the ones flying round my head at the moment:
  • become a child birth educator
  • start selling card making equipment
  • write more blogs and find ways of making them profitable
  • set up a trust aimed at supporting teen mums getting an education
  • start sewing
  • stay home more and make house
  • do a Masters in Applied Social Work
  • start scrapbooking
  • get more involved at church
  • read more
  • stop working and go to playcentre
  • work more and do more at work
  • set up a community garden
  • have another child
  • move to the country so that I am at home and can't do all of the above and have a more simple life.
  • achieve world peace, end poverty, solve the climate change crisis...
All in a day's work?

As you can see there is a lot going on in my head and a lot of it is contradictory. I imagine there are other Mums out there who have similar battles between their reality and what they would like to do. But I wonder whether for me these ideas are partly about not dealing with my reality. If I keep coming up with new things to do I don't have to just be in my life. Instead I am always in a state of discontent thinking up the next thing I want to do, but never actually do. Or maybe it is because I haven't developed an integrated sense of who I am? But what does that mean anyway? Or is it just the fact that women today have so much apparent choice that it almost creates the sense that you should do more, choose more and be more.

Maybe that is it. Maybe the question is whether I am enough without doing more? Just the way I am now. Am I acceptable and okay as I am, without any of the above? And therefore does my identity just come from what I do? What does that say about how I view others? Am I judging others who I think "should" do more? And have I turned this on myself?

Okay enough questions. I hate blog posts that just have lists of questions but as no clarity has been forth coming I will have to leave it at that. But I really would love to hear from other women who wrestle with these questions. Have you made any peace with this?

P.S just discovered the one of our kittens peed on our bed and it has gone through our woollen duvets, sheets and into the mattress. These things put my navel gazing into perspective.


  1. Loving the new blog background!

    I know exactly what you mean, I have a lot of grand plans and a lot 'I would do X if Y' ('Y' is usually 'won lotto!!)

    I don't know if or how any of us just settle on one path - for me I think there's a little bit of...not fate exactly... just following the path life points me down. I always have a plan, but I'm always ready to change it as life and circumstances dictate.

    I don't know if I've made peace with it as such, but I'm mostly fairly content. I think also that I always make sure I'm doing one thing for me (at present it's studying part-time) as well as things for my life and my family.

    Interesting post, it certainly makes me think!

  2. Hi Marion, awesome blog, again you are so inspiring!
    I think feeling constantly inspired is good, in terms of being interested and passionate in all those wonderful things you listed, but it's unhealthy when that flips on us and turns into guilt and dissatisfaction with what we do have and feeling like we never do enough, because that's just not true.
    For me I also really struggle to just manage the basics of being a mum and running a home: I can't find stuff because things are so untidy and stacked around my ears, I never have clothes because I can't keep up with the washing etc etc etc.
    Lauren just this week started kindy and she is there 2 mornings for 4 hours. I've decided I need to dedicate one of those to catching up at home: do my groceries, put them away, vacuum, clean the bathroom etc; and the other morning is going to be for ME. Probably spent either at shops or with a friend. I'm hoping this may help me get a better balance.
    Sorry for my long reply! Bless you heaps xx