Trying To Be Everything

Is the #chalkmug half empty or half full?
Credit: flickr / Austin Kleon

It was inevitable, the amount I’ve been flitting about, and the number of bugs that have been going round, but Thursday last week I came home early and pretty much keeled over. I barely got up for 3 days. Monday I got up but I was berating myself for being so lazy, annoyed at myself for having no symptoms left but still feeling so utterly unable to do anything.

The following day I woke up feeling amazing. Like, “wow I was sick, this is me normally”. After a great and productive morning I went out for lunch instead of eating at work and shortly after was ill some more.

So I was sick for 5 days and when I was finally feeling better I got food poisoning. A day later I am still feeling rough (and irritated!). But, more than anything, overwhelmed and behind with everything. Travel has this week and next being four day weeks, which is stressful. I’m also giving four talks this month, which is insane.

I feel pulled in every direction – trying to be good at my job, trying to contribute to the community, trying to be interesting, trying to be healthy and keep working out, trying to make time for my friends and my boyfriend.

It feels like I’m failing at every one of these things. I did pretty well the other week – 5 workouts (3 at 6am), dinner with a friend and mentor, girl geeks, lots of code produced. But of course the following week is an utter fail and at this point it’s got to a feeling of, “what’s the point? I’ll try and sort my life out – again – when I get back.”

The irony is, this next trip is to Seattle, where my friend and I will talk about “Secrets of Superheros”. We’re talking about the people we admire, who achieve a lot, and strategies for being a superhero too – or, more likely, realizing you already are.

During that one (rare) good week, someone asked me how I contrive to do everything. I told her it was by not responding to email. It’s like, yeah, you see me doing something useful, but there’s a lot slipping through the cracks.

And yes, my inbox is out of control. But getting everything in is always a challenge, and there are always things that I don’t manage to do. It’s the trick of the one positive thing, I guess. Saying, yeah, I’m stressed by the long list of emails I should respond to but I’ll dash of a quick reply to this one that is most bugging me. Shrugging off the fact that last night I ended up working late and then reading a whole novel, and managing to do something productive this evening in spite of it. Leaving the office at 5 to make it to one spin class this week, because one is better than nothing.

Yesterday might have been a disaster, but there’s always something you can do today that will make today at least slightly less of one, so don’t write it off as hopeless. Do it.

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