Am I Measuring Up?
The scale in the women’s locker room is not working. I am data starved. I’m sure I’m eating too much and not working out hard enough, because I can’t see the number on the scale. Am I measuring up? I’ve probably gained 10 pounds. I can feel fat jumping onto my inner thighs and refusing to let go. With every meal I feel like I’m packing the saddlebags at my hips with fat to get me through some long trek.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in one movie montage after another with the idea of achievement out there, somewhere, waiting for me to do enough to arrive at it. One story of my life would like to reach the climax so the denouement into some kind of wonderful could happen. I’m not sure which one.
How am I supposed to have the moment of achievement at the end of the movie montage if I can’t get the data?
My days are one long free association of to-do’s. Trying to tie them down and into some sensible order would be like tying bricks to my ankles and wrists before going for a swim. Ineffective.
When I’m asked what I do for a living in casual conversation, the answer seems so complicated that sometimes I just say, “I help my boyfriend and pursue my interests.” Nice work, right? Most of the time.
Before you picture me with my feet up, popping bon bons, while watching Soap Operas (who wants to do that – seriously?), the more honest answer is: I do marketing and sales for a software company, manage our home, assist independent retailers with their marketing, am a blogger, professional writer and actor, aspiring fit model, who could sell you super awesome cosmetics if you need…
And I’m a mom, grandma, girlfriend, and that woman (since I’m not stepmom official – really the kids are sweet and kind, I just don’t know what to call myself since the boyfriend and I haven’t taken that step).
I love cooking and baking (especially when the boyfriend or family or friends love the result). It makes me feel a bit like a wizard.
Want to see my head spin like that girl from the Exorcist and the crankster inside of me come out? Keep me from the gym or from moving much. At least I know what I need: Ballet Fit, Power Vinyasa Yoga, the SpartaChris, and the Elliptical. Stillness is not a close friend of mine.
Ready to take me to a shrink and have me committed?
I know I’m not alone in this. There are a lot of women like me who have so many plates spinning they’ve lost count. Some of us need flexible lives, so we don’t break.
Yesterday I talked with a nurse, stylist, member of the National Guard, and the mother of two young boys. I recently met an actor, dancer, dance instructor, model, and professional singer about to release her first album. Josie Schwarz, who I interviewed for Denmark Style: Hair, Hygge, and Simplicity is a Master Stylist with her own baking business and the mom of a teenager.
For so many of us I think there’s what we are and what we’re aspiring to be and the bridge that takes us from point A to point B isn’t constructed from simplicity or designed with straight, sensible lines. It’s more like this meandering stream that looks pleasant enough. Once swimming in it, the only option is to keep going and take it stroke by stroke, day by day, working towards the other side.
It’s easy to have a day where I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything at all, like I don’t measure up. So, I’ve taken to making lists of what I did do that day. Like the scale giving me feedback when it’s working properly, the list helps me know that I am okay.
Most of what I did on Monday:
- Made bacon and eggs for my boyfriend and I.
- Dried and put away dishes.
- Rinsed and loaded breakfast dishes.
- Folded Laundry
- Rotated Laundry
- Made and packed a lunch, including Bourbon Vanilla Ungranola to snack on. It’s delicious (imho).
- Ran customer charges
- Did customer follow-ups
- Scheduled an appointment to get the brakes on our Highlander done.
That was all before 8:15 a.m.
- Dropped off stuff at my desk at Collider, a co-working space we rent desks in.
- Went to Cafe Steam and spent an hour working on blog-related to-dos while drinking hot tea.
- Marketing work for boyfriend’s company and another client, including clever social media posts about the eclipse that related to shopping.
- Did more customer-related follow-up and updated our Constant Contact lists.
- Called vet offices. Discussed vet options with boyfriend. Scheduled an appointment for Lucy, our Jack Russell, at the one that seemed the best.
- Fielded questions from my daughter about JAFRA. She wants to start her own JAFRA Cosmetics business, so she can control her income and her schedule.
- Revised tech articles for the company website.
- Walked to Starbucks and back for a coffee break. Gotta get those steps in.
- Had a quick look at the eclipse using Katie’s glasses. She has a desk at Collider too.
- Met with the boyfriend in a conference room to brainstorm and discuss what we want in a video promoting the software he created, because sitting at our desks and talking doesn’t work (seriously).
Then at 5:30 we went to the gym to do our SpartaChris workout. Around 7:30 we started our 96th Monday Night Date Night. We were at 300 First. The service, food, and drinks are always excellent there. It is one of the most consistently great restaurants in town. I don’t know the owners. No one is giving me anything to say it. If only our favorite meals (Chicken Cordon Bleu for me. Boursin Chicken for him.) had less calories, we’d go there more.
Achieving Goals: It’s Complicated
One big old montage of a day done. I finished some things. I started some things that I will finish. Perhaps I’ll find some measurement tool that works to measure myself by, so that I stay on track. I could set sales goals and savings goals, maybe those would help me know if I’m winning at this thing called life.
I know. It’s all more complicated than that. Setting goals beyond the scales, measuring where I’m at, and seeing myself progress will feel good. Doing that doesn’t make me less human or less compassionate. Sometimes I struggle with that feeling when it comes to business.
The scale at the gym is fixed. I stepped on it. The last time I had weighed in and recorded it I was at 143.5. When I stepped on it waiting weeks for it to be fixed, it said 143.7. I may not have progressed, but at least I didn’t move backwards.
My excuse for not measuring and not progressing is gone at the gym. Perhaps it’s time to create the measurement and progress tools for the other elements in my life, because it’s okay to move forward. Progress and success are good and fun. I will tell myself this as many times as it takes until relentless pursuit without the hindrance of guilt (those other bricks I’ve been carrying around) is my reality.
Do you struggle with this? If you do, I’d love to hear your story. Have you found a way to solve this? I’d love to hear your story too! I’m looking for ways to make achieving goals less complicated.