This piece is brought to us by Rose Grant – a fantastic HPT athlete and off-road cyclist.
I am often asked, “how do I do it all?”. Well, the honest answer is, “I don’t”. I recently listened to a podcast interviewing Lara Logan, where she said something that resonated with me. She said, “You can do it all, you just may not be able to do it all at the same time.”
As mothers, many of us have a natural desire to do it all, while making it look flawless. I don’t know why this tends to be the standard to strive for, but this scenario simply is not sustainable nor healthy, and oftentimes something somewhere is paying the price.
Layla is 9 yrs old now, and busy with school and sports. My husband, Nelson, is a police officer with a constantly rotating schedule. I am continually working with time to spend it as intentionally as possible, and to set myself up for success.
In this season of life, I have to prioritize and then compartmentalize the most important tasks of the day to complete, primarily my training and making sure that my family is accounted for. My to-do list is a constant flow of crossing out completed tasks and adding new ones. The most important tasks are priorities (like daily training), and the rest sometimes flow into the next day or week.
Distraction is everywhere. Although sometimes the distraction is a necessary turn in our day, oftentimes it is not, and working to eliminate unnecessary distraction is a constant goal. As an all-in type of person, I tend to thrive when my tasks are compartmentalized into time blocks, where I can truly be intentional about the task during its allotted time. I feel like this allows me the ability to do well, whatever the task may be that I am working on.
Being a list writer, I have found that I can get so absorbed in my drive to accomplish my tasks, that I lose sight of the present. This year, I have challenged myself to stress less and enjoy more. To me, this has meant turning my focus toward the present, and intentionally allowing myself a meaningful break from the never ending to-do list.
Examples include sitting on the deck and enjoying a glass of wine with my husband after dinner, or taking the extra time to swing by my mom’s house for a quick visit, or spending a few moments in focused conversation with Layla. Sometimes it means going camping for the weekend without a bike, or taking the day to ski with Layla, and being confident that the investment is always worth it! This is the type of balance I need to continue to incorporate in order to enjoy the present.
Here are a few tools that I incorporate to help life move as smoothly as possible:
Because I need order and organization to thrive, scheduling ahead is a must for me. I thrive from a plan, however I work very hard to embrace spontaneity occasionally as Nelson is very spontaneous!
Sharing our Google Calendars with each other has helped a lot in planning around each other, with each other, and planning ahead.
Protecting my energy:
Setting boundaries is essential in making life happen. It has always been up to me to protect my training by scheduling child care and creating my freedom to train. I still protect this space in my life, because if I don’t it would quickly get swallowed up by other things that I could justify as equally important. Despite being a people pleaser, I have learned how to say “no” to prevent being overcommitted. There is almost nothing I hate more than realizing I am overcommitted or overextended.
I love making homemade meals, having a clean house, etc., etc., but some days some items need to be eliminated to reduce stress and enable enjoying the process of the day. Some days, I simply don’t have time, and it’s ok to push items ahead on the to-do list or simply skip a daily task.
Ask for help:
I have never liked asking for help, but I am learning how to and I think it’s a valuable tool. Primarily, I’ve been able to ask Nelson to help with more meal prep and parental responsibilities than I used to. I have found that if I don’t ask, it’s assumed that I’ve got it all covered.
Make time for things that I enjoy:
Despite being disciplined and driven, I have found it important to escape that to-do list and make time for other things that I enjoy. I love being on the water in the summer, so creating space to be at the lake or paddleboarding the river are essential to my mental health, and most often combined with family time. Skiing, baking, doing my nails, taking a bath, whatever that looks like for you… make it a priority! That self care is a necessity!
Surrender the uncontrollables:
No matter what the situation, uncontrollables affect us all! When life throws us a curveball, how do we respond? Whether it be a sick child, an injury, a misunderstanding that throws off our carefully planned schedule… Can we be adaptable and do it with as good of an attitude as possible? Somedays, I literally lift my hands toward heaven and just ask God to bless my efforts. Ha!
Ever heard of “Process, Not Perfection”? <3
Thanks for reading, Rose