My favorite bit of advice to give people is “you can’t do everything.” Unfortunately, there’s also an accurate saying that goes, “those that can’t do teach.” Knowing this, you should “do as I say and not as I do.” Even though I try to be all things at all times, realistically, you’ve got to prioritize your life and allow the lower priority things to fall into place when they’re meant to. As in, later.
The other day my brother was listing off all these things he needed to do and I got dizzy just listening to it. He listed about seven different non-occupational projects and almost forgot to mention being a husband, father, son, and brother. I can honestly say that I have full confidence that he can do everything he sets his mind to, but I had to tell him to chill. Do it all, rule the world if you want, just not all at once, right now. At least if you want to stay sane. Eventually everyone reaches a point where they realize they’ve been stretched too thin to do any one thing well and if you can’t do it well, why do it?
As I say this I’m thinking that I really should’ve backed out of this whole gardening thing I got going. I was trying to be an engaged team member and participate in the garden at work, but I don’t know shit about gardening. A little voice in my head said, “this is a great opportunity to learn” and another little voice said,”it’ll be fulfilling” while the teeny tiny voice going “abandon ship now” got drowned out.
So, there I sat in this gardening meeting, learning about all the things I would be responsible for, tricking myself into thinking I could handle it all. Now I am only filled with regret. I don’t know which side of the farmer’s almanac is up, what the magic tool is to turn on the water faucet, or what to do with the plants once I tuck them in a warm dirt embrace. The last time I had a plant I couldn’t tell if I was watering the wrong part, watering it too much, or watering it too little. Long story short, it died.
There’s a certain amount of unnecessary stress and strain that comes with feeling obligated to do something that’s low on your list of priorities. I think three is the maximum number of things that you should prioritize each day. Three. Naturally, I have five things: exercise, meditate, read, write, and be happy (a special category for cooking dinner, watching baseball, milking happy hour, and going to the movies). It’s basically like being in college and wanting to get straight As while also enjoying “the experience,” except there’s no expiration and your friends are all far away. Sad face. The point is, gardening doesn’t fit into my list!
Don’t be like me. I repeat, don’t be like me. Say “no” a few times a day. Take a “sick” day before you get too sick to enjoy it. Start a business while still getting eight hours of sleep. Change plans when you don’t feel like it. Because life is too short to be wonder woman all the time.