If you feel overwhelmed, remember this
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, simultaneously pulled by work dreams and house things, and navigating that balance in a new and different way because over the past few years of healing from adrenal fatigue, I came to appreciate my role in making my house a home because it felt nurturing and soothing, but now that I feel better, I want to boss bitch it up again.
This intense conflict between wanting to take immaculate care of myself, finish renovations on my house (we had the most stressful tile job last week), prepare for the holidays, cook weeknight meals (I like to go all out because I hate boring food), and do my work stuff...
It drives me insane. And I don’t even have kids!
But then I realized that a lot of you can probably relate. This is the plight of being a woman.
This may make some people mad, and it honestly makes me mad sometimes, but the truth is that a woman's work is vital to the functioning of not only our homes, but of society.
It's easy to blame men for not picking up the slack, but (most) men are not biologically wired to do the homey things we do.
Men enjoy decorations but will not make mood boards of garlands and ornaments and Christmas cookies. My husband didn't even have a coffee table when I met him.
Women have internalized beliefs that cooking and cleaning are not meaningful activities, but when dinner time rolls around and you want a hot, delicious meal, or you go through the day annoyed at any clutter accumulating around you, you quickly realize how important these tasks are.
The bedrock of society.
Women have a lot to offer, beyond household activities, but women in particular are blessed with a special warmth, one that turns a house into a home.
It's in our best interests — and the best interest of society — to organize our lives in such a way to create time and space to care for ourselves so we have the capacity to exude that warmth and care for our homes, along with the million and one other worldly tasks we do.
This gets overwhelming. We can feel resentful. Especially around the holidays.
(If you have extenuating circumstances, do the best you can with what you have!)
The old me didn't make time for home activities.
My house was sparsely decorated. I threw together dinner each night without much thought. I excessively focused on work, and my amazing husband always stepped up to help, but the truth is that our home life was spiritually impoverished.
We ate frozen pizza way too many nights. Our house was not the respite from the world that it is today.
The truth is, I LOVE working. When I'm in the flow, stopping to do anything else feels like pulling away from a magnet.
Once I do manage to pull away, I notice how good it feels to attend to these other meaningful parts of my life.
Creating a vibrant home life fulfills me in ways work never could, but that doesn't make this balance any easier to find.
I'm realizing I need to change my expectations.
To live a balanced, meaningful, healthy life, I can't work as much as I used to, which means things will take much longer to get done, and some things won’t get done at all.
I need to be okay with work life slowing down, because like I wrote about last week, if you just keep showing up every day, things will happen, in the time and way they're meant to.
I don't have to worry or stress. It's my default, but I can question the assumptions my stress is built upon rather than feed into the worries those assumptions create.
When things are meant to be, they just flow, like this blog, which ended up taking no time at all to write.
While work life is about moving things forward, home life is about enjoying the stillness.
After a day of action, grounding down by walking, cooking dinner, doing skin care and bedtime yoga allows my nervous system to catch up with the day's movement.
The holidays in particular are a special time, one that deserves extra attention and love because ultimately, life is about family.
I don't want to be snappy or overwhelmed or too busy to make the holidays special.
(Full disclosure, we are going out to eat on Thanksgiving! But it's just three people, and really not worth cooking so much food. Our meal will be very special.)
If you too feel overwhelmed this holiday, know that overwhelm and stress are only signs of expansion.
They’re opportunities to remember what's important.
Sometimes arranging our lives around what's important requires us to go against our habitual nature. (Like my nature is to excessively work. Going against that is a growth opportunity.)
We truly don't have time for everything, but we do have time for everything that matters.
That means we have to make choices.
With those choices comes compromise.
However, with that compromise comes true happiness, meaning and fulfillment.
Maybe not where we thought we'd find it, but where our souls long to be.
Reply and let me know — how has your relationship with your home life evolved over the years? How do you balance career and home? Do you have a strict schedule? Focus on different things on different days? I'm very curious!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Till next time,
PS — If you are feeling lonely or sad this holiday season, know that you are not alone. Please consider reaching out to someone or volunteering or following whatever guidance your soul gives you to navigate this season. You are part of the whole, even if you don't always feel that way. <3