Ever since Jeff died, I have become a list-maker. I make lists for what I need to pick up at Walmart, what needs bought at the grocery store, reminders of people and businesses I need to call, and more importantly, lists of things I need to do. I have found that I’m more forgetful than I used to be, and the lists help in keeping me on track. It’s not unusual to find three or four lists sitting on the kitchen counter, reminding me of the six million things I “need” to get done.
But my lists frustrate me.
Because I can’t seem to get it all done.
I have a tendency to list project after project. And my expectation is that I get all of those projects done on the day I’ve enlisted their accomplishment. On today’s list, I was to finish painting my bedroom, prep food, walk Bella, and clean the whole house.
I didn’t get any of it done.
I started the painting, but ran out of daylight and couldn’t finish it up because I couldn’t see. I ended up re-arranging my entire living room, so I only got that room cleaned up today. Poor Bella got shunned and I made food as I went along today rather than prepping out a few days’ worth.
I can’t do it all.
I need help.
This– the concept of needing help– became painfully obvious at my last competition and then also when I was trying to cross off “mow the grass” from a recent list.
My friend Amy competed with me at the Pittsburgh show. Amy has a coach, someone who provides her with a training routine, a diet, help with posing, and other helpful advice. She’d purchased a spray tan the day of the show and also had her hair and makeup done by someone else.
As I applied coat after coat of tan (I didn’t get a spray tan; I used this stuff that you essentially “paint” your body with), painstakingly applied “glamour” makeup, and fooled around with my hair until I thought it was “stage perfect,” I watched what Amy was doing.
She was practicing her posing.
She was concentrating on what really mattered about that show– posing.
And I had to pay closer attention to just getting ready to be on the stage. Posing, for me, was something I couldn’t take the luxury of doing because I had to do all the other stuff.
In that moment, of watching her perfect her routine, I was envious. Envious that she had all that help. I’d wished that I’d had that kind of help too.
Even in preparing for that show, I did my own training, my own diet, my own posing work, my own creation of a routine. I did it all. By myself.
No wonder I was so fucking exhausted.
I didn’t even realize it while I was doing it; I just did it. I was living a Nike mantra.
And then there are the tasks of running a household: cleaning it, maintaining it, repairing it. I’ve done it all. I’ve learned how to thaw pipes, learned how to hang a new shower head, painted, landscaped. I’ve continued to maintain my house finances. I mow the grass. I clean the bathroom and the kitchen as well as the other rooms. I clean out the litter boxes. Pick up the dog crap. Installed all of the AC window units. I do the laundry. The list goes on and on and on…I’ve done ALL of it.
The “someone” I referenced in last week’s post has the ability to have the more mundane tasks in his life taken care of by others that he’s hired. I had a really hard time wrapping my head around that because I couldn’t understand why you would spend money on things that you could likely do yourself. If you are capable of running a vacuum, you can clean your own house. If you know how to operate a lawn mower, you can mow your own yard.
He explained that he’d had a similar problem with having things “done” for him when he was first in the corporate world. All of these people wanted to do things for him, take care of things for him. It was uncomfortable at first, he told me. He resisted. Until someone pointed out to him that he should allow for those people to do those things because it then frees you up to accomplish goals in other areas in which you are most talented. So he could concentrate on doing CEO things because other people were taking care of other things that he didn’t have time to do because he was busy being good at being a CEO.
And that’s when the lightbulb went off.
It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to ask for it, too. It’s okay to allow others to do things for you. Doing so frees you up to accomplish goals in other areas in which you are most talented.
Yesterday, I started a new prep for a competition on September 7. I hired a trainer. She has provided me with a new training routine as well as a diet. I don’t have to figure it out by myself this time.
I need the help. So I asked for it.
And in the past, mowing the grass was something I really enjoyed doing. Now, it’s just another task I need to cross of my seemingly endless list. So I hired some “grass guys” to take care of my yard.
I need the help. So I asked for it.
It is humbling to do so; to admit that I cannot do it all.
I cannot do it all.