Over the last year, I have gotten the opportunity to present on the importance of boundaries and balance for educators. I once wrote about it in a blog on the role of self-worth in self-care another blog talked about the role of control in self-care. During the same presentation a month ago I had the privilege of sharing with 20 teacher leaders. As we were talking about self-care, balance, and boundaries, I yelled out STOP SHOULDING YOURSELF. At that moment everyone started to laugh, and I was beyond thankful our superintendent had just walked out the door (although I honestly think he would have enjoyed the discussion).
Stop shoulding yourself… how much in life do we talk about, reflect on, what we should be doing? I should be exercising more. I should be eating healthy. I should be spending more time with my kid so I can be a better parent. I should be doing more to be a better spouse. I should be doing more at work… We should ourselves until we want to hide in a corner. The New Year is the perfect time for us to focus on all the things we should be doing and feel the need to make a resolution for how we will correct our ways so we can correct our courses.
As someone whose life has been defined by not feeling like I am doing enough… or if I am honest, I am enough, the New Year is a horrid time. I want to make all kinds of resolutions to right all my imperfections, but I am terrified of not living up to a resolution. I am caught between wanting to show the world I will be better and not wanting to disappoint anyone.
In the last few years, I have enjoyed focusing on my one word for the year. I have gone through brave, action, and believe. As this year approached I felt some anxiety about what word should be my word for the next year. My amazing sister sent me an exercise to assist me in the process. As much as I was grateful, the packet was about a million pages long and who has the time to do that when you are helping to watch your niece and nephew, finish two chapters for a book, polish four presentations for PD when you get back to school, spend time with your son, be a wife, and clean the house!?!
As I started to reflect on my one word and the world I find myself, I realized what I need, what many of us need, is to feel like we are enough. I need to remember, accept regardless of what I accomplish this year, I am enough. If I decide or not decide to exercise more, eat healthily, drink less wine, help more people, I am enough.
We live in a time when we compare our actions to the fictitious lives of others we see on social media. We think others have it together because they post about their workout, early morning ritual, parenting triumph… We judge ourselves against something that is not real.
I have no clue what I will do this year, how much I will weigh, miles I will run, or hours I will spend reading at the end of next month. What I do know is if I don’t stop shoulding myself and accepting me for me, I will never feel peace and contentment in life. For all of these reasons my word for the year is ENOUGH.