2/9/11

This Is How Today Felt

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I have written three different kinds of posts in this space tonight with three different tones. I think it was a little exercise in working through my emotions and thoughts but not necessarily important to share in this space right now. I just wanted to admit to having had an emotional day with a little anxiety under the surface all afternoon and a lot of things on my mind.

I shared about wanting to be ambitious in the many different roles I play in an earlier post and received a few responses that surprised me but left me feeling kind of taken care of. I know I can't be superwoman and that trying to juggle too much and do it all well is rarely sustainable. I need to go to bed a little earlier and give myself permission to let people down every now and then. I worry a lot about not being enough, even to people who don't hold important roles in my life.

Today I worried about kindergarten for Sebastian this year or next, whether or not I was letting my insecurity over a messy house get in the way of better friendships, about not making some overdue phone calls, about not having worked out in five days, about being behind on a big project, about looking so tired, about our future, about being a better mom/wife/friend, and a host of other things that are heavy enough on their own. It all ganged up on me today.

So, I unpacked more boxes. Thanks to my husband watching the kids I was able to make my favorite dinner and get rid of a lot of clutter in my studio. I think I work past my anxiety by doing something productive because it gives me a sense of control. I also like to write it out.

Anyway, I felt the need to share this as a counter-balance to that post about being ambitious. I still want to do my best at everything but I'm also someone who is very familiar with unrealistic expectations and the guilt that can follow. My name is Rachel Denbow and I'm a guilt-a-holic.

It feels good to get all of that out. Thanks for making it all the way to the end. How much do I owe you for that little therapy session?

xoxo,
Rachel

p.s. Last night Sebastian and Ruby and I decorated the chalk board. I think S was intent on covering up everything I was drawing with lots of scribbles.

43 comments:

Briana Shepley said...

Dang we're similar in that aspect! It's so hard for me to realize I can't do it all. Lifelong struggle, really. And, I've also had a rough, rough day - snow day and all. They pass but they sure are hard to get through when they're happening, don't they? Tomorrow will be fantastic for you, I've no doubt :)

Simply Created by Cole said...

I struggle with trying to do it all and be it all too! Lately I've struggled with what needs to be done and the things that inspire me and want to do more of.

You are not alone.
"Each new day is a gift."

:0)

Christie said...

i love this post! this actually may be my favorite. I've been following you, Elsie and RV for a few months now (thanks to my very own bestie!) and I've been amazed at how you guys seem to do it all. Through cyberspace, everything seems so picture perfect. It's nice to be reminded that we're all real people. And I have to say thank you because you have continued to inspire me. As I stay at home with my little one and mother my 6 yr old son, it's been wonderful to be reminded to not forget to be creative. To not be too tired to craft and have fun. And to take a moment and capture all of those little things that go on in between on camera. I have especially loved seeing your vintage finds and have been taking the time to enjoying finding my own. (it's my happy me time) thank you for all of the inspiration and beauty, and honesty too. :)

colourherhope.com said...

thank you for your rawness, Rachel! you are truly an incredible women, a loving momma and a great wifey, etc, etc, etc, (i can just tell through your blog).

please know and hopefully find comfort in knowing you are not alone :) i saw this quote on pinterest, "you can do anything, but not everything". hope that encourages you!

Jami

katielicht said...

I can't figure out what to say other than, yep. Been there. AM there most days. Hope tomorrow is better for you. . . everything always seems more manageable after a decent night of sleep and a little fresh coffee, right?

Teenysparkles said...

Hi! I'm not a new reader, but I've never commented before...i don't think. I thought to write something here today because I am very similar in wanting to accomplish everything, and kinda getting anxious and down on myself when it isn't done in immediately or to my (ridiculously high) expectation! I'm sure you've been a very mean boss to yourself. I deal with this by letting things slide a little and creating some space for myself. Oftentimes this means saying no to people...which is hard...but good for you in the longrun. Good luck, you'll be fine, you're a survivor. You have two kids afterall.
x

RachelDenbow said...

Thank you, ladies, for your gentleness and encouragement. I find a lot of comfort knowing this is not an singular experience and that we all need to give ourselves a little room to breathe.

Thank you.

Elsie Flannigan said...

you're the best at what you do, rach. there's only one you. glad you're taking time for yourself. <3

Simone said...

You're in inspiration to me (and many) on your most ambitious days but you're a hero to me on days like these when you're honest, open, and real. A wise woman once told me "our emotions and abilites are like the tides; the ebb and flow". When they're ebbing just know you can't do it all but make the most of it when they're flowing! All the best! xx, SB

Jennifer's Junky Life said...

This post really resonates with me at the moment. Feeling a lot of the same things. It's nice to know we're not alone...

Being a mom, who wants to craft and do art and all of the other things in life we enjoy can be such a balancing act. I feel like, all too often, I fall short.

Sometimes saying 'no' to things is the best way to go -- but not always the easiest.

We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of everyone else. (Easy for me to say, not always as easy for me to remember!)

~ Jennifer

Adoption & Fire said...

I am a long time follower, first time poster. I could have totally written that post today. I have been feeling pretty darn close to what you have written! It's nice to see other busy women have these same thoughts.

Wendy @ adoptionandfire.com

Morgan said...

Oh Rachel, I am right there with you. I completely, 100% relate. I don't want to be great at one thing or ok at many, I want to be great at every.single.thing I do. It's exhausting, to say the least. A little mantra I've been telling myself (especially when I have guests over and I want the house to look perfect), is "I can only do what I can do." I'm going to do my best and then everything after that is just good enough.

kiki comin said...

isn't that the trick of life. to find a good balance. it is so hard in whatever situation you are in. I loved the picture...went PERFECT with the post. You are amazing..just remember that!:)

hellosweetworld said...

You're such a strong, inspirational person and everyone gets in those moods every once in a while. Just go to your happy place and stay strong. You can do it!

Amber said...

Sometimes it helps just spilling all those jumbled thoughts on to paper or on a post just so you can see and read it out loud. I do the same thing, try to take on more because there is so much I want to do. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and breath :) You're blog is amazing and you have a lot of talent. Stay positive!

rosemaryx said...

man i'm a guilt-a-holic too! I'm always allowing myself to feel guilty about some small (or large) something. Today it was about a (somewhat) negative post I left on someone's blog. It wasn't mean or spiteful or anything but after i hit send I just though to myself "why leave a negi comment at all?". when really I was just trying to share my perspective. my guilt over being negative on someone else's blog got to my guilty conscience almost immediately and I haven't been able to shake it.

I do this a lot in my real life as well, where i have a lot of responsibilities and I don't make time for myself or my friends enough. my guilt gets the best of me at those times as well and as a result I become stagnant until I can pull myself up. I think this is similar to what you are saying. It's OK to let people and yourself down sometimes. We are only human and need breaks sometimes, even when we least expect it and it affects our responsibilities.

Take time to breathe. that's my advice. I can only imagine what its like to have two young children - it seems it would take up so much of that breathing time. But its still OK to breathe.

Tania Shaw said...

I think I might have said this before, and I really don't know you at all except for this blog, but of all the RVA girls, you inspire me the most. Really and truly! I love your honesty and your beauty shines through everything you do. Bad days suck, but we're always better for going through them, right? I had a horrible day as well and I can't tell you how much it helped reading your blog tonight. So thanks, Rachel, from the bottom of my heart!!

Carli Spear-Beauchamp said...

Sing it sister!
It is a very very fine balance to be a (good) mother, wife, friend, daughter, and artist all at once.
When you feel you are giving your all in one direction, you feel guilty that the other areas are always lacking.
Leave cleaning to the last. My husband would laugh if he saw me write this because I am ALWAYS cleaning...but when I let it get dirty, I'm usually doing something really, really fun. Like sewing.
I'll try if you try.

Carli Spear-Beauchamp said...

Ps...
I write about motherhood here:

http://stitchrabbit.typepad.com/stitch-rabbit/2010/11/it-aint-always-easy.html

Sandy said...

I learned to just let it go. It's ok to do that once in awhile. Focusing on my family is way more important. True friends will stand with you. Don't expect so much of yourself with two young children. You'll be fine in the end.

Britta said...

Oh Rachel...
I´m 42 years old and I admire you. I think: first take care of your body and soul and than try to be the best. Listen to your heart... particular for Sebastian and the Kindergarten...

best wishes from Germany :)

Bek said...

oooohhhhh yeah. I can totally relate as well. And I see I am not the only one! It is an eternal balancing act and sometimes the scales tip in an unhelpful direction. Glad this post was therapeutic for you!

Nikkilooch said...

My name is Nikki. I'm overcoming guilt, too. I feel like it's a constant battle. I'm always telling myself, "That's not my fault." I'm doing better, everyday.

Gingiber said...

Rachel. Thanks for writing this. You don't know how much I have been struggling with the same things. I also call myself a guilt-a-holic. I too have to be productive to work through the emotion of feeling insufficient. Make yourself a pot of coffee and put on a record. You deserve it!

AlliT said...

You are so right! We all can't be superwomen. And you know what - I think it feels good to come to terms with that!! I have finally in the past couple of months decided if my friends don't like me or try to judge me even when my house is dirty then they aren't really friends anyway. And when my friends do come over when my house is dirty they just don't see it. And one of them even said thanks for not letting this be a deal breaker!! And she wishes she could be a little less anal about it too!! YAY!! I just think we tend to let the "little" things bother us too much. We all need to try to focus on the biggies in life, like taking a little longer to play with our babies instead of cleaning house or doing other non-essential things... :) Love ya girl!! Keep your head up!!!! You can come hang out at my dirty house any time!!!

Liz said...

Everyday instead of being proud of what I managed to accomplish, I feel guilt for all I didn't. I am a recent follower here and not a blog follower typically...but yours caught my eye because just about everything you say hits home with me. As a mother of one little boy (1 & 1/2) I truly appreciate your honesty on this blog--it is so refreshing to know you someone out there has the same internal struggles!!

Christina R. Griffith said...

Hang in there Rach, it's hard living in the modern world with a vintage heart. I know in my house we are striving everyday to live the life our grandparents did and everyday it's a struggle for all sorts of reasons. But know that with Christ all things are possible and you are in control of your thoughts and feelings! Blessings to you and your sweet family...

SarahAnn said...

Perfectly normal, entirely acceptable, totally understandable feelings of a woman. I've had some days recently right there with you; and on those days or good ones, hoping you find some peace in the midst of chaos. Because we never really have it together, do we? It's just a matter of accepting that fact! :)

Rebekah said...

thank you for your transparency here it is so beautiful and refreshing mainly because I think that you most certainly are superwoman (an amazing mom, crafter, business woman etc.) just by reading your sweet blog. but being superwoman is not the goal I think..the goal is to simply love and cherish all that we have been given, count our blessings and make beauty from the lives we have been bestowed with! you do ALL of those things FLAWLESSLY!! even if the house is messy, mine most certainly is :).

ps. OMG my son is going to be five in June and I have NO CLUE what to do about kindergarden. Seriously all my friends kids are way younger I am confused..do you plan to share your thoughts??

Happy Thursday Rachel!

sweet-n-salty girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sweet-n-salty girl said...

I think I am a guilt-a-holic too, I know how you feel! Thanks for sharing, you made me realize I am not alone ;) You are awesome, I don't know how you do all that you do!

thursday said...

My name is Thursday and I'm a high-expectationaholic.

I'm sorry to hear you were having a bummer kinda day Rachel. I think days like those are part of the job description when you're a creative and ambitious person. I have many days like this and they used to be absolutely brutal. I would get really mad at myself first for disappointing myself and then for 'wasting' my time doing anything but making, mom-ing, cleaning, cooking and running errands.

One night when I was on Twitter I read something from Sue of Giant Dwarf. She was signing off for the night and she said she was considering staying up all night to get some work done but then decided against it. Next she said something like "I am just one person and I can only do so much." That hit me over the head like a tonne of bricks. Holy crow - just because I can do it doesn't mean I have to do it. Woah.

Anyway, I really appreciated this post. It's completely in line with where my brain is right now because I'm in the middle of writing a post about it for tomorrow.

fee @ chipper nelly said...

just found your blog and love it.
my name is fee, and I'm a guiltaholic.
there.... feel better already.
fee x

(currently feeling guilty that i'm in bed blogging rather than giving Cleggy a cuddle!)

eden mariel said...

Hey Mama, you're ok! We're all human and some days it's harder than others to see past all the to-do's that can pile up. Just breathe, step, laugh, love, maybe stop and look at the sky and wait for that feeling to pass <3

Gary, Christie, Anna and Izzy said...

I think we were living in parallel worlds at that moment. I've been struggling on how to balance everything as a working mom wanting to much more in life than I do, with my family, my kids, my house, etc. But really it's coming back to the basics for me. Thank you for sharing such an honest post.

My Love is..... said...

Thanx for this post I loved it so much !

Odette said...

I hear you! I have such a guilt complex and what my dear friend Sabrina calls "the betterness complex"...you should check out her book Spilling Open (Sabrina Ward Harrison)...so validating the first time I read it!

xoxo

lauren ♥ said...

i feel like this every now and then, but i never could have put it into words like you have. thank you for jumping in my head for a minute and typing my thoughts out. my name is lauren hart, and i am a gulit-a-holic too! <3

apockylypse said...

i've been feeling like this alot of the past year. i'm beginning to think maybe it's moving, because that's when it all really hit me (that on top of planning a wedding is way too much at once).

thanks for sharing this, because it's really helped me know that i'm not alone. i'm sure everyone appreciates your realness and willingness to be open like this.

just keep on keepin' on!

Eeffie said...

WoW! Thanks for sharing your struggles...I can relate!

Mandi said...

Gah, I wish I had read this last week. I've been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks for the firs time in my entire life, and it has been terrifying. I also feel the need to please everyone, but more importantly to keep becoming better and better as an individual. It's stressful and I need to just chill out and take care of my mental health while I still can.

I'm also a bit terrified to have children, because if this is how stressful life is now, I wonder how it will be when I have little ones to take care of too. Sigh. Well, I guess I had better practice stress management skills now, eh? :)

Andrea!!! said...

*hugs* Mamas or not, I think all of us get it - hope you are feeling better!
From one guilty-feeling mama to another,
A

Cat said...

Thank you sooo much for your honesty. I feel like this regularly and have to take a moment to try to, well, live in the moment instead what I am not doing. But it is hard sometimes!
Haven't been on in awhile...gotta go back and read to find out where you are moving!