When I woke up this morning the “wake-up” CD that greets me every weekday at 5am was on its last song. “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” was blasting and neither me, nor my husband, had stirred even once since music started playing from my alarm clock an hour before (no wonder my dream had an 80s rock soundtrack). I pressed snooze and slept for another half hour. When I realized the time I bolted out of bed and got ready as fast as humanly possible.
We didn’t have the girls this weekend, and my husband chose to keep sleeping, so it was a quiet morning. Sullivan even chose to sleep-in instead of eating breakfast or going outside. It was a full weekend. A good weekend. But last night I went to bed feeling like we didn’t get enough done. Didn’t accomplish enough. And this morning I felt tired and longed for one more day of weekend.
There were new kitchen lights to be hung, a desk to be moved, laundry to be washed and dried, and laundry to be folded. Not that we didn’t get things done. We did. My husband had two days of school, I had wine night, a 5k, a *quick* run to the Mall of America, dinner out, breakfast out, treating our kitchen cupboards with Old English and replacing the pulls, poop scooping now that the snow has melted, preparing for next week’s trade show, etc. We were, in fact, VERY productive. But we didn’t finish EVERYTHING. And that is what I went to sleep thinking about last night.
I have this need for things to be wrapped up and tied with a bow…perfectly. If things are instead, put in a box and ready to be wrapped up with a bow, it’s not good enough. I then focus on what’s not done, or not quite right, and it makes me crazy. Turning what should have been a perfect weekend into a weekend in which I feel like I didn’t do enough.
My husband often tells me that he doesn’t think I’m ever happy. Now to be clear…this irritates the f-ck out of me and I’ve told him so…but if after a productive and good weekend I focus on the unhung kitchen lights and undone laundry I can maybe see where he’s coming from. The truth is that I am happy. Incredibly so. And lucky, and blessed, and grateful, and feeling like my life is absolutely lovely right now. But the lights. And the laundry. The things left undone weigh on me. Why?
I sometimes feel like I can and should do better. Do more. Use my time more effectively. Get more done. I have lists of things I want to accomplish each week and there are always three or five things on that list that don’t get checked off. I’m in this ongoing state of almost done. So what? Do I put fewer items on the list? Or do I try harder to check it all off? Or do I chuck the list completely? Well…I can’t do that…my list is housed in the loveliest planner that has my name embossed in silver on the front. The list stays. But there has to be a way to get from always feeling like I’m almost successful to actually successfully checking everything off and feeling satisfied. There does have to be a way…right?
It’s so easy to forget that simply being grateful isn’t enough. I’m so much happier (and more successful) when I’m actively grateful and thankful. There are times in my life when I’m on fire and constantly thinking about how lucky I am. I go through the list of things for which I’m grateful in my head and I go about my days feeling joy and filled with energy. But then I hit a rough day, which turns into a bit of a challenging week, and the feeling of gratitude turns into feeling like I can’t get anything done. In retrospect, the times when I’m actively grateful are the times that I feel most accomplished and successful.
Instead of starting this week feeling less than, I’m going to think about it differently. Thankful that I did so much this weekend and excited to do more. Ready to take-on the week with enthusiasm. And maybe, just maybe, if I am actively grateful this week I will be able to check all the things off the list…simply because I’m thinking about it differently. Maybe?
TODAY: What if instead of thinking about all that I’m not able to accomplish I focus on what I did accomplish and feel gratitude. What if actively feeling grateful for my life and accomplishments will give me energy and will to do more?