And it’s all part of my new mantra to do a better job of listening to my body, of giving myself grace, and of taking time to rest. Because the health scare of the last two weeks was a real wake-up call for me.
I finished reading For The Love by Jen Hatmaker last week and I was so challenged by many parts of the book, but especially by the first chapter. In that chapter, she talks about how we try so hard as women to be the best, do the best, and impress other people. In the process, we end up exhausting ourselves.
She sums this up perfectly with a quote that jumped off the page at me and stuck in my head all week long:
“We need to quit trying to be awesome, and instead be wise.”
What exactly does this mean? What does it look like? I’ve been mulling over that the last week.
For me, it means giving myself grace and doing what is best for me and my family. I can invest so much energy in trying to give my all — as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as an employer, as a blogger, as a homemaker, as a homeschooler — and I can easily burn myself about by trying to be “awesome” in every area of my life.
But the truth is, when I try to be awesome in every single area, I end up so exhausted instead that I’m not really able to be anything to anyone.
So I am working on doing a better job of reminding myself of this. And I easily forget.
Take last week, for instance. Even while letting this quote resonate in my mind, I had a moment where I tried to choose awesomeness over wisdom.
As you know, the last few weeks I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and worn down. I had a lot of projects on my plate, to-do’s on my list, and people who were needing extra investment. As a result, I hadn’t been getting enough sleep or taking care of myself.
During a moment of sitting at home feeling like I was barely hanging on or keeping up, I received an e-mail from a reader that said, “I used to love your blog, but I don’t anymore, and here’s why…” She then listed all of the reasons why she no longer enjoys my blog.
I get e-mails like this from time to time. I have learned over the years of blogging that I can’t please everyone. I will always disappoint someone, because I am only one person and I can’t be all things to all people.
But this e-mail came right at a time when I was already feeling like I was failing big time. I was discouraged, and this e-mail felt like a gut punch while I was already down. It felt like I was pouring every last drop out and it wasn’t enough.
One of the reasons why this reader said she didn’t like my blog anymore was that I no longer hosted regular challenges — like the homemaking, cleaning, or freezer cooking challenges I’ve done in the past.
As soon as I read this, I immediately started looking at my calendar and trying to plan out when I could do challenges multiple challenges in the next few weeks, all because of this one e-mail. I mapped out a plan to do three different challenges — including a challenge last week right before my surgery.
I didn’t think about how exhausted I felt or how full my week already was. I was moreso just focusing on the fact that if I didn’t do these challenges, I was failing my readers.
When I told my husband about my plan to do a challenge last week and then this week and the following week, he looked at me like I was nuts. Because I was!
And then he spoke some truth to me, “Maybe you can another week, but this week you just need to rest.”
I knew he was right, I mean, I was worn out and worn down plus I was scheduled for surgery, but there was that part of me inside that was yelling, “But I’m going to disappoint my readers! I have to figure out a way to make this happen!”
And then I remembered that quote. I had to remind myself to stop trying to be awesome, and instead be wise.
I’m so, so glad that I listened to my husband because last week ended up being a really hard week for me. Not only did I end up in bed with a fever for a few days and then have some serious nausea the day before my surgery, but then surgery recovery ended up being a lot harder than I expected.
My husband gave me permission to plan a simple challenge this week because I felt like I might go stir-crazy with all the resting! But he made me promise to take it easy, keep it simple, and skip any day that I didn’t feel up to it. Which I did yesterday!
I share this in hopes that it will encourage you to think of areas in your life where you might be trying to be awesome when you need to step back, cut back, and be wise instead.
Now, yes, when you start choosing to be wise over trying to be awesome, you will also have to be okay with disappointing some people. Because not everyone is going to be on board with you saying no, cutting back, or not being as available.
But it’s okay to disappoint people — provided they are the right people. I don’t want to disappoint my God, my husband, or my kids. There are a lot of other people I will have to disappoint in the process in order to not disappoint those who are my greatest priorities right now.
So today, my challenge for you is this: Think about the areas you’re trying to be awesome in and decide if you need to dial back and say “that’s not wise for me right now.” Do what works for you and what is best for your family. Be okay if it’s completely different than someone else.
You are not them, you are YOU. Do what works for you!