A Real, Messy Day In My Life
As I'm writing this, it's 5:03 pm on Tuesday evening, and I'm sitting in my pretty, white office.
My baby girl, Verdi, is sitting next to me, in her IKEA high chair, chewing on a carrot and a cheese stick.
This wasn't how today was supposed to play out.
I woke up this morning with the cheesy, yet inspirational, mantra “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” echoing in my mind. I took a relaxing shower and then spent some time tidying up. Today is going to be a GREAT day, I thought.
I've been working too much lately — way more than I need to. I'm my own boss! I can, and should, create a schedule for myself that really allows me to enjoy the passing moments.
I sat down at my desk and outlined a schedule involving just 20 hours/week of work. Totally do-able. Not what I have been doing — it's been more like 30 hours/week lately — but totally do-able.
Four hours of work today, I thought. I can be done by 1:00 pm!
Sometimes I make “day-in-the-life” videos, and I really try to keep them based in reality. I try to make them accurate, and not paint false pictures of unattainable ideals. First of all, because I want to be honest, and secondly because I'd hate to make anyone feel like they didn't have stuff as “together” as they should.
But, even though those videos are real, they're still videos about “careful days” — days when we start with a good plan and follow it.
> Sometimes it's a “too busy” or really “relaxed” plan, but it's always a plan, and we follow it. <
Other days, though, like today… we start with a plan, but we're way off course by noon. Here's how today played out:
7:00 am – Woke up, later than normal. Took a shower – yay!
8:00 am – Spent an hour tidying & planning. Not exactly “on plan” but still, nice things to do.
9:00 am – Finally sat down to work… only to be interrupted by a hungry baby a few minutes later. Ended up eating breakfast with the family as well.
10:00 am – Finally got back to work. Accomplished a lot! Planned out the content of a new workshop that's coming up next month.
1:00 pm – Grabbed a bite of lunch. Got way-laid by toddlers. Had some nice snuggles. Was secretly stressing out about the fact that half the day was gone and I'd only checked one task off my to-do list.
2:00 pm – Fired up Zoom for a conference call with our team to go over the copy for an upcoming marketing campaign. Planned to be done by 3:30 so I could make it to my favorite workout class.
4:15 pm – Finally got off the call. It was productive but took for-EVER. Couldn't make it to the gym. Decided to go to a later class, but first, get in another hour of work while the baby slept. My husband, Timothy, was heading out the door to take the boys to gymnastics class.
4:30 pm – Baby woke up. ?
4:40 pm – Timothy kindly brought her high-chair into my office (before he ran out the door) so I could try to get a little work done.
And, that finds us here:
I'm *expecting* that the rest of the evening will play out by me successfully sending you this email, then dropping the baby off at gymnastics (around 6:30 pm) before making it to the last exercise class of the night (7:00 pm), getting home at 8:30 pm, rushing through dinner, washing the dishes, and finally making it to bed by 10:30 pm. I hope. If everything goes “as planned.”?
Truth: life is messy. It rarely looks like the pretty pictures we see on Instagram or Pinterest. But that doesn't mean we're doing it wrong. It just means: life is messy.
> It doesn't always go according to plan.
> Even when it does, our plans are never perfect. (Fortunately, though, God's plans are!)
This “life is messy” perspective could be seen as depressing, but I don't think so. I think it's liberating! It means we can sit back, relax, and ENJOY the experience.
Of course, that doesn't mean “be lazy” or just “go with the flow” — pursuing goals is satisfying and creates positive results.
- But, it means we can quit stressing about the outcomes.
- We can let go of not achieving enough.
- We can focus on our work and enjoy the experience.
Happiness is found in the process, not the destination, even if — especially if — the process is messy, raw, and real.
I hope you're having a beautiful day, even if it isn't going perfectly according to plan.