The Never Enough

My at-home indoor workout the other day was interrupted after 20 minutes when my toddler woke from his 25-minute-long nap (if you can call it that), and I dragged him out of his crib, careful to engage my pelvic floor that has been destroyed thanks to my getting the “You should do pelvic floor physical therapy as soon as you have a baby” message only after having my second child. I tucked my third baby into my side on top of my bed so that maybe, just maybe, I could get him back to sleep quickly enough to get back to that workout that I budgeted exactly 30 minutes in my day to do. As I tried to nurse him (yes, I still nurse him, partly out of he’s-so-cute-and-he’s-my-last-baby and partly out of how-the-hell-else-will-I-get-him-to-relax but also partly I-give-him-vaccine-antibodies) I had the thought, “Why is this not enough? Why do I feel like everything I do is not enough?”

I was sweating and nursing and budgeting and re-budgeting time and determining what, if any, housework will get done, and what, if any, Other Work — like writing, or engaging with clients, or sending out invoices — will get done before I had to go get the big kids from school and embark on the evening to-dos. All while trying to relax so the toddler would relax so I could stop relaxing and finish my workout.

So why is everything I do not enough?

Maybe it’s because I bury myself in impossibilities and ambitions.

Impossibilities include:

    Clean the house every day.
    I mean, clean one room every day.
    Meditate.
    Don’t scream.
    Go to the bathroom alone.
    Exercise every single day so that I don’t scream every single day.
    Write every single day.
    Practice/make music every single day.
    Sleep some.
    Build the business.
    Be better at everything I do.
    Do more of everything I do.

Ambitions are:

    All of the above, plus grace.

Or maybe it’s because I’m a lady who has lady problems and who has been to lady doctors who simply tell me they don’t know why I’m having lady problems and that I should just attribute it to stress and to take some Excedrin. If I weren’t a lady, these problems wouldn’t be a mystery; dudes would be all over them and have done multitudes of research on this and I wouldn’t be left alone out here to struggle along all by my-lady-self.

Or maybe it’s all not enough because I’m under the impression that I’m supposed to be doing all of this and be happy at the same time. What does “enough” even mean? If I do enough of this or enough of that I’ll have arrived? At what? What is the goal here?

I think the best approach is to understand that this is simply how it is. This is how things are. These are the conditions in which I’m living at this moment. How I feel about these conditions — the qualities I attribute to them — are completely separate from the fact that the conditions exist.

I will continue to do all the things I do because it is what I’m supposed to do. I have an almost-two-year-old who will follow me into every bathroom I enter. How I feel about this is irrelevant and will not change the fact that he will do this. We are entering into the cold, dark six months of winter here in Minneapolis. How I feel about this is irrelevant. We are approaching the holidays that are forever altered for my family and this is simply how it is for us.

So why is it that I feel like what I do, and don’t do, for that matter, is not enough? Because it isn’t enough. It will never be enough because I don’t know what enough even is.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Your feelings do matter. Even if everything seems futile and it seems like they don’t right now.

    I see you. I hear you.

    Everything you’ve written in this update, it matters.

    Don’t give up.

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