So I totally had a different blog post planned for today, but I’m going to push that out until next week because I feel like maybe a lot of us need this reminder.
It’s no secret that I’m busy and it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the things I’m doing, but I cringe when people start off a conversation with me by saying, “I know you are so busy…” It feels like it’s supposed to be a compliment, but how do you respond to that? “Thanks…you’re busy too? Everyone who isn’t busy is a lazy butt?” I really don’t want to glorify busy. I love down time, and I’m doing all these things right now so that I have more opportunity to slow down in the near future. It’s not easy, it’s stressful, and I look forward to graduating in three more semesters so I can have some study-free evenings with my kids and Netflix and chill with my husband.
And I literally mean Netflix because I’ve seen like three movies since we had our first daughter and we have a lot of catching up to do.
Probably every other month I think, “I’m so done with trying to blog and show up on Instagram. I’m too busy for this, my life is crazy, I’m done.”
Guess what happens every time I think that? Within a couple of days, someone texts or DMs me how much they appreciate what I’ve shared. People I know in real life and strangers on the internet. This pretty much only happens if I’m thinking of stopping. It’s the craziest thing. When I was writing what I had originally planned for today, I was struggling if what I was writing was even valuable for the people who read this.
And then I worried that maybe I had overshared some of my personal family struggles going on right now on my Instagram. I was trying to not be a downer or share too many details, but I can’t really pretend like everything is normal when it’s so not.
(Okay, the presence of family drama is normal. #bigfamilyproblems)
So of course the thoughts came again that maybe I really should stop worrying about this right now. And like clockwork, I got a DM on Instagram from a woman who shared a little of her struggles and said that the Instagram story I posted (that I thought was overshare) helped her to know that she’s not the only one who has a crazy mom+school life.
It was a short, simple message, but it was a great reminder to me. I started this because I felt like I should. I thought that there had to be women like me who needed some solidarity because they didn’t see others doing what they were trying to do. And to not present it like it’s nine squares of picture perfect bliss.
If you listen to the Awesome with Alison podcast or follow @thealisonshow on Instagram, she says all the time, “If you feel called to do it, freaking do it.” I love that.
We have a lot of things we feel like we should do, in various aspects of our lives. I think sometimes we forget that we felt called to do that thing. It doesn’t have to be a job or side hustle or something paid, we feel called to do all sorts of things. To work, stay home with our kids, start a date night with our spouse, make sure you call your mom at least once a week, learn Spanish, send a birthday card every year to every family member, go back to school, start a debt free journey, create a positive social media account or podcast, get involved in politics, volunteer regularly somewhere–it can be anything. But it can be easy to forget the “calling” when we are so busy with the rest of living.
But you felt that calling for a reason. Maybe you needed it for you. Or your family. Or a stranger. I truly believe that we’re here for many reasons, and those feelings of being called to do something are part of your purpose and what you’re meant to accomplish.
That’s a great sentiment, but how do we keep doing things we’re passionate about when we feel so overwhelmed? Here is what I’ve found helps me:
- Get yourself pumped. Music does this for me. I like to think I have an eclectic taste in music, but for some reason, music from junior high and high school get me pumped. Like The Killers, Jimmy Eat World and Weezer. Maybe because they’re fun and you can kind of yell-sing them and jump around. I think music is powerful for everyone, but think about what gets you pumped–exercise, dancing, getting out in nature–and do it!
- Talk to someone about it. Do you know what keeps me motivated? Talking to people about my passions! I love when they ask questions and we have a great discussion because it makes me want to involve myself in it even more. This can be a type of accountability, but even if it’s not the same person you talk with, it helps.
- Set reasonable expectations. There will be lots of people who tell you how something should be done or look. Like, to have a “successful” blog I should post three articles a week and be on Instagram every single dang day. I just can’t do that and I don’t want to. It’s not the balance that will work for my life and the whole point of what I’m doing is to show reality. So think of what you’re doing and hope to accomplish, and be kind to yourself with your expectations.
- Reorganize your time. If something is important to you, then you make time for it. Decide what your top priorities are, how often they need to be done, who can help take some tasks off your hands so you can create more time, and give yourself a little breathing room to have time for your passions.
- Celebrate your victories. I don’t know what the victories in your area look like, but when they happen–enjoy them! Appreciate your awesomeness for accomplishing it and tell someone! Celebrating victories is so good at keeping motivation levels high.
These are simple, but effective. So if you’re feeling bogged down by all of the things and wonder if it’s time to give that thing up, just ask if you still feel called to do that thing and take a few days to really think about it. Maybe it has run its course and that’s fine. But if you still feel called to be currently engaged in that thing, then try some of these and keep going.
The way I see it, if you feel called to do something, it’s because you’re either helping or inspiring people you don’t even realize, or you’re developing things in yourself that you need.
Either way, that’s a pretty cool calling.