How do you have enough hours in the day? Do you EVER see your kids? You’re adding another thing to your list? These are all common questions in my life. All. The. Time. And the answers are, “I don’t,” “Yes,” and “Yes.” Here’s the thing. I like doing things. A lot of things. And I’m not about to apologize for it.
I’m pretty sure it all started in high school, maybe before. So many things looked fun to me… Volunteering? Yes. Student council? Yes. Sports? Yes. Band? Yes. Youth group? Yes. And not only did I want to do these things, but I wanted to go all in. (Except volleyball. That was a fail.) I poured myself into everything. I was happiest when I had somewhere to go, when I was with friends, and when I was getting something done.
Fast forward too many years to count. I still find myself jumping at everything that comes at me. I mean who wouldn’t want to help plan silent auctions, friends’ weddings, join the figure skating club board, fundraise for hockey, and start a non-profit all while writing a doctoral dissertation and traveling constantly for work? This is my sweet spot. It’s where I thrive. And while I may complain that I’m tired or drag my feet to a meeting or two, deep down it’s where I get my energy. As a textbook extravert, if I don’t interact with people, I’m drained.
So here are my “whys.” My things I’ve learned along the way. My case for doing it all…
Okay, so this overused acronym from the early 2000’s might be annoying (especially when said in the Kim Kardashian nasal baby voice), but give it a chance. There is no redo. There will never be a second chance to impact the figure skating club that is helping to shape who my daughter is becoming. There is no second run to become a doctoral expert in my field. No second chance to give grants to deserving teachers. We all have an expiration date. And I don’t want to reach mine with any regrets that I didn’t do something I really wanted to.
Be the Good
One of my very greatest accomplishments in life is co-founding a foundation in honor of my 4th grade teacher. I was given an amazing gift to be a student of his, and in starting it, I really wanted to pay forward what I was given. Every year we bring together people from our small community to raise thousands of dollars and also to honor people who are making an impact in the lives of children. If I don’t do it, who will? Maybe someone, but maybe not. By jumping in and being the good I want to see in the world, I’m contributing to my little corner of the world.
My kids. My world. They see me running from one place to another and they know why I’m doing it. I’m involved, I’m making changes, and I’m invested in their futures. Whether I like it or not, my daughter is now starting to take after me. She loves so many things and hates that she has to decline activities because there are not enough hours in her day (admittedly because I make her go to bed “way too early”). She is finding her passions, and those passions today may not be the same tomorrow, but she’s figuring out her life by trial and error. And I have to believe that her future will be bright because of it.
I can have it all
Guess what? I see my kids. I feed them breakfast, bring them to school, feed them dinner, help them with their homework, play games with them, read with them, and put them to bed (again, “way too early”). By fitting things together like a puzzle – and having by extremely helpful and supportive husband and parents – it is possible to do everything I love…and even some things I don’t love…
It’s my life
Now that the song is stuck in your head, think about that line. I’ve got to own who I am and how I decide to go about these trips around the sun. If I’m doing what makes me happy and I’ve done the best that I can in life, I can be content knowing that I’ve fulfilled my own purpose. For myself. For my kids. For my family.
Do I get over my head sometimes? Of course. But I learn my lessons and move on. I can’t let anyone hold me back from getting involved in things I love just because it seems like I’m doing too much. My permission to do it all comes from a drive to live the best life I can and a passion to change the world. Nothing can stop me now… except volleyball. Darn it.