Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gold Stars

I was going to write about something else today, but then I read a blog post and it really stirred me. Particularly this:

Ben Bergeron actually shared this blog earlier this week, sparking my thoughts for this post.

After reading it, I sat staring at my laptop for awhile picking apart why the words got down into my stomach and made me feel a little bit weird. And I realized, I am very much guilty of what he's talking about. Read the whole thing here, it's very short.

I'm competitive, and I like being good at what I do. That goes for a lot of us. I don't like losing, hence why playing on a college volleyball team that had four losing seasons in a row really got to me at times.

But those four years shaped me into someone I believe is pretty mentally (and sometimes physically) strong, and taught me a ton. I wouldn't trade my college experience for the world.

I also think that's why I stayed fairly competitive post-college. Almost immediately I got into running, and then semi-quickly I realized I was fairly good. So I started racing with the mindset of, if I didn't place then it wasn't a successful race..

Fast forward: I'm not a 'competitive' runner anymore, I wouldn't win any races at least. And that bothers the crap out of it. I really hate the s word but man I've slowed down; my mileage has gotten less and less, trading in time on the pavement for time at the gym instead; on the gymnastic bars, the barbells, in the pool, on a bike, laying on the beach.

Don't get me wrong, I feel very balanced and I love the athlete I am today. But I hate that I'm no longer great at running. More so, I really dislike the constant pressure I feel coming from literally only myself, that I need to get faster again. Because if I'm not great at it, what's the point of doing it?

Right? Wrong.

Hence the light bulb moment this morning. I had literally just come in from a short three mile run and was having an internal conversation with myself, planning to start back up on some speed work. For no other reason than the fact that I felt too sub-par.

The truth of the matter is - and why I wanted to write about this - is that we pile a lot of crap on our plates. A lot. We glorify the term 'busy' and society often conveys that if you aren't staying busy, you're basically being a slob. Which isn't fair, or true. And is a whole different discussion we can have someday.

Yet because we often have so many plates spinning at once, odds are we just aren't going to be absolutely great at everything. I cannot be a speedy fast runner, while building my strength, while actively trying to train two puppies to grow into polite adult Huskies, while balancing two part-time jobs, while trying to improve my cooking skills, keep our apartment clean, etc. etc. Not to mention the extreme guilt I feel a few times a week from the fact that I'm not practicing or taking time to learn Hebrew.

Had to sneak a pup picture in there

The list goes on - as I'm sure yours does too. Then there's the even longer list of things we wish we had more time for - and we don't even have kids yet.

At the end of the day, some of those tasks/skills will end up being done averagely, or maybe even sub-par. We won't be the best, we aren't going to constantly be winning medals. I'm never going to win any cook-off contests that's for damn sure, and I'm OK with that. I can feed myself and my husband and as long as it's not a plate full of broccoli or avocado, he's going to be happy. #Winning.

Give yourself a break. If you're trying your best, you're happy, and you're not bringing down people around you in the process - you're a step ahead of a lot others. Striving for greatness is a really fantastic goal, but we need to stop bludgeoning each other (and ourselves) to pieces when we don't walk away with gold stars in every category of life.

(Sidenote: there is a difference between putting your best foot forward and coming up short, and half-assing something)

Next time you catch yourself doing it - which I know I will at some point today - do me a favor. Stop, take a breath, and instead of lecturing yourself for something that didn't turn out as planned, instead just tell yourself:

                                                           It's good enough.

You finished the workout, but you were dead last? You only finished half your loads of laundry? You finished your run, but you had to walk half the time?  There are still dirty dishes in the sink? You made it to work on time but just realized you have a coffee stain on your pants? Your son insisted on only finishing half of his breakfast?

It's good enough.

You're alive, you're trying. Sometimes, that's just good enough. Smile about it.
Cheers - 


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