How Do You Do It All?

Yikes, it’s been far too long since I posted. I’m clearly not a dedicated blogger! Anyway…I could make excuses for my absence, but instead I’d rather re-direct your attention to the title of this post. Hmmmm. What an interesting question.

Truth be told, hearing this question makes my heart hurt a little bit. It makes my heart hurt because usually when someone asks me this question, I can hear a soft note of self-judgment in their voices, comparing themselves to their image of me. And usually the person asking me this question is a person that I love and admire and respect. I don’t want to be the basis of comparison, and I definitely don’t want to be a reason that someone thinks that they should be doing more. Should is sometimes a ridiculous word. We’re all doing our best here on this funny ol’ planet, okay? So despite living in a culture that’s obsessed and deeply invested in showcasing our inadequacies, let’s stop comparing ourselves to each other. It’s not really that productive.

Truth be told, I sure as hell don’t “do it all.” And I can’t emphasize this enough.

On most days, I’m doing a combination of these things that are pretty recognizable obligations: working, writing, reading, being a graduate student (whatever the heck that means), planning for post-grad-school endeavors, and volunteering/being involved in my community. I also try to squeeze in a couple of these personal, private obligations: exercising, riding my motorcycle, meditating, practicing music, relaxing, reading a novel for fun, drawing, sewing, and cooking. But I absolutely, unequivocally do NOT accomplish all of these things every day. I’d explode. We’ve only got 24 hours a day, y’all.

On any given day, I’m deliberately choosing NOT to do any of these other things: cleaning my house, sorting the mail, returning voice mails/emails/text messages, preparing balanced meals (know what I ate for lunch today? half a bag of popcorn), spending time on unnecessary grooming rituals (shaving legs = waste of time), comparing myself to what other people do, spending time working on my career, managing my finances (thank goodness for autopay), thinking about building wealth and my retirement investments, repairing broken stuff around the house, and doing yardwork. Oh, and writing appropriately frequent blog posts.

What I’m very clumsily trying to say here is this: I don’t do it all. I don’t even come close. There are deliberate trade-offs: I will never, ever, ever have a spotlessly clean house, because it’s rock bottom on my list of priorities. Then there are inevitable trade-offs: while I’m in grad school, I will not have a lot of time to spend with family and friends because eventually finishing my Ph.D. is very, very high on my priority list.

So – next time you start to compare yourself to someone else, next time you think I should…stop. Give yourself a mental hug, and remember that we all have much more complicated and opaque lives than appear on the surface. Nobody does it all, and that’s okay.

Love, peace, and non-judgmental kindness,
Sumiko

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2 Comments

  1. Amen to all you’ve said. Love your authenticity!

    Reply
  2. Lyndle

     /  January 10, 2017

    Brilliant post. Love it. And hope the PhD is going well.

    Reply

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