It has been a while since my last post. It wasn’t meant to be that way, it just happened.
We all set good intentions and hope like crazy that we will fulfill them some day. One thing I have come to know is that I am a little overzealous with all my good intentions! I want to do it all, and I want to do it all well, starting right now!
I always seem to begin with what I want for my family. How publicly noble of me you probably think, but you are likely just the same and I know this because you are the sort of people who read my blog! Think about it, our families are what we value the most, and so we seem to always start there! Speaking for myself,I want to look after them, feed them well, meet their needs, make their lives a little better today than it was yesterday.
Next come my intentions for our much loved, almost 16 year old dachshund. I want to look after him well, feed him well, meet his needs by taking him for a daily walk. I want to make his life today a little bit better than yesterday because at his age, who knows if tomorrow will come?
Finally come my intentions for myself. I always start with the general statement ‘I want to look after myself’ because that says it all! Break it up a bit and it becomes, I want to feed myself well (Yes, I do mean eat only healthy and nutritious food!), I want exercise more regularly, I want to have time to meditate, I want to do my job well, I want my house keeping ability to rival that of Martha Stewart, I want to study more, read more, write more, play more. I want to make today a little better than yesterday.
Then comes my reality – I can’t do it all even though I really want to…and really intend to!
I see you nodding your head, you have this struggle too!
Real life takes over. The load at work ramps up, the children get sick, the motivation to run in the rain wains, the time needed to go and buy good food runs out, the time to make the bed and do the laundry mysteriously disappears, the school projects needing to be completed at home start pouring in. Next thing I know I am overtired, overstressed, underfed, and terribly grumpy. There is not much in this situation that can be rescued by a good intention because in the moment it all just feels like it is too much.
So here’s what I can say to you. It isn’t rocket science people, you already know this for yourself. Nobody can do it all, all of the time. So why do we try so hard and why are we so hard on ourselves when we don’t get it right?
I’ll tell you what I think. We all have good intentions because it’s what keeps us on track. At least when we are intending to do it all, we keep on trying and we don’t permanently give up! When we set intentions it keeps us in a state of moving forward, we don’t stagnate and stay as we are. We are in constant motion propelled forward into trying instead of getting stuck by the act of surrendering.
Now that is something I think we should celebrate!
A wise man once told me (and I won’t tell you just who that was because you can probably guess!) that when we set intentions we feel as though we are at the steering wheel of life. When we have intention, we feel that we have some control of where we are heading. This gives us a sense of actually living our life rather than having the sense that life just happens to us. Now that is wisdom.
Does this mean that we will never throw our hands up and scream “I give up, I can’t do it all, all of the time!” No, definitely not. It just means that when we get to the point when it all seems to be too much, we need to look at what seems to be making it too much and adjust our intentions accordingly. Don’t simply toss them aside or beat yourself up about them!
We need to start by being kind to ourselves and know that we won’t always feel this way, things will settle down… eventually. It might just not happen as soon as we would like it to. The workload will reduce, the rain will eventually stop, the school projects will get done, you will find the Start button on the washer/dryer and you will definitely make it to the food store…because we all get hungry, eventually!
Things will get easier but don’t be lulled back into thinking you can add a few more good intentions to your repertoire all at once. We have to hold in the back of our minds that life will get crazy again someday, probably sooner than later. Once we are able to anticipate that we will feel burnt out again, and once we we can truly make room for that possibility, we are much more likely to manage that day a bit better when it comes…because it will.
For me, I am keeping my eye on next weekend. We are heading into some sunshine for our Spring Break and I’ll have nothing to do but focus on my intentions…My intention to enjoy our family time, to eat what I like, sleep when I like, walk when I like, do what I like.
Now those are some intentions I am going to stick to!