Thursday, January 5

did you know? | I am an overachiever...

Not sure if you've picked up on the fact that...
I tend to be an overachiever.

Sometimes this is a very good quality to have.
And other times I find it quite annoying.

Regardless...
it's part of who I am.
And because of it...
I have come to learn so much about myself.

One of the hardest things I've had to learn over the past few years...
(yes...this particular piece of self-discovery is still sort of new)...
Is this...







Growing up...
There wasn't anything I didn't think I could conquer, if I put my mind to it.
Not only conquer...
But excel at...
and even, perhaps, be the very best at...
(whatever it was).

No...
I wasn't that person who participated in every extra-curricular activity in school.
And aside from cheerleading for a short period in my life...
I wasn't involved in competitive sports.
I didn't run for class president...
I wasn't a straight-A student either.

I guess you'd call it "selective" over-achieving.
I HAVE to find it interesting...
I HAVE to be passionate about it...
and it HAS to hold my attention....
otherwise, once I've conquered it...
I'm done with it.

I had no fear of whatever challenge was before me.
Whatever I put my mind to...
I could do it.
And I could do it well.

It either stemmed from a very strong sense of self-confidence...
or developed due to a lack of confidence...
and the need to prove myself to others. (and to myself)?
I haven't figured out which one it was yet.
Probably a combination of the two since I think we are born with such innocence...
not yet fully aware of the sting of failure...
or the fear that somehow creeps into our lives as we are exposed to pain...
frustration...
embarrassment...
and all of the other emotions and experiences that continually shape and mold us.

This "overachiever" mindset was carried over into adulthood...
And it became particularly prominent when I became a mother.
I grew up wanting to be the "perfect" Mom.
I'm certain I'm no different than so many of you out there.


I want to be good at everything I do.
And most importantly...
I want to be able to do everything I want to do.
I have dreams...
And I have my heart and mind set on achieving so many different things...
This list includes everything from:
• being that "perfect Mom"
• being the perfect daughter
• the perfect friend
• the perfect neighbor
• the woman who religiously works out for health and fitness
• the girl who's baking everyone loves
• the girl who's cooking everyone craves
• the one who's home feels comfortable to all who enter
• the person who's home is always neat and tidy
• the woman who provides a safe haven for her family by creating warmth and love in her home

Not the girl who necessarily HAS it all...(although that would be nice too.) *wink*
but the girl who can DO it all.
I get extremely frustrated when I feel like I'm having to choose between the things I want to do.

I don't want to have to choose...
I really want to be able to do EVERYTHiNG!!
And sometimes I let my own frustration get the best of me.
I refer to it as "swimming against the current".
I don't want to prioritize...
because EVERYTHiNG is a priority.
I sometimes feel that if I let go of something I sincerely feel is important...
I will somehow end up with a lot of missing pieces to my "life puzzle".

I resist surrendering to the fact that there are only so many hours in the day...
and that there's only so much energy I'm alloted on a daily basis...
and that there is a cut-off point as to the number of irons I have in the fire...

And then...
this arrived via email today from Brave Girls Club...



I DO love to do things in a "beautiful, soulful way".
But if try to do everything...
"sacred things will suffer...especially [me]."

This is something I know I will have to continually remind myself of.
And as much as it pains me...
I DO have to "give myself permission to put some things on a different timetable..."
It's VERY hard for me to accept when I have to leave something "undone".
It's difficult to let go of anything I feel is important...

But I completely agree with this:
"It does not make you weak or powerless...
it shows your strength and commitment to all that is best for your own precious life".

Anyone else out there need that message today?

I genuinely love you guys.
I'm SO grateful for every single one of you who takes the time to read my posts.
I'm grateful for all of you who leave comments...
and share your own personal stories.
I adore each of you.
Thank you for enriching my life...
I especially thank you for listening...*wink*

6 comments:

Amanda Joy January 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM  

Amazing. I felt like I was reading what goes through my own head and heart. I have too many irons in the fire, because there is so much I want to learn and do right now... but right now isn't the right time. I support my husband while he goes to school, I work full time and have two toddlers, church callings, errands, still need to finish school, will be living in a new state for grad school... on top of that I have an etsy shop, a blog, I do parties and weddings, and family gatherings. I want to do it, but need to remember that there is a time and a place.

Thanks for this post!

jess @ pen n' paperflowers January 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM  

Amanda...I am WOWED by you. You do have so much going on! Responses like yours are exactly why I share what I share. There are so many of us out there experiencing the same things. I'm so glad my post touched you. Thanks for reaching out and responding! Hugs!! Wishing you strength, energy, patience and discernment as you find the balance. *wink*

Shelley in SC January 5, 2012 at 11:20 PM  

So timely for me to read this right now. Thanks so much for sharing. So much to consider.

jess @ pen n' paperflowers January 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM  

Shelley in SC...thanks for commenting. I'm SO glad to know this message came at good time for you. There is always so much to consider...isn't there? May each of us be led and inspired as we protect "the sacred things" - all while attempting to fulfill our dreams.

kansasgirl1 January 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM  

During 2011, i finally started admitting to myself that I am exactly in the same boat as you are describing here. I think those of us with creative energy continually are energized by seeing other people's ideas and creativity, and want to try out new ideas and new directions. I'm in the process of figuring out where my most passionate interests lie, and how many of them can fit into the rest of my life (husband's upcoming layoff, busy pre-teen son, etc.). Thanks for your inspiration. Coming to your blog every day is so comforting and inspiring. Thank you!

jess @ pen n' paperflowers January 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM  

Hugs to you Kansasgirl1!! You hit it right on the nose...we just have to figure out how many of our passions can fit into the rest of our lives...and "when". Thank you for your sweet words - it means the world to me that you took the time to comment and that you find inspiration from my blog. Thank you. And I wish you peace and enlightenment as you go through the process of figuring out where your greatest passions lie.

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