Friday, January 22, 2016

Let's Talk Excuses For a Sec.

I have a lot of thoughts on the topic of excuses, and mostly because I feel like I hear the word a lot.

I've kind of come to hate the word, actually. I realized that I was allowing myself too many excuses in life not long ago, and I've since worked to change that, but to me some "excuses" are valid. So when are excuses valid reasons, and when are they a cop-out?

As I've pushed through this month of working out and challenging myself health-wise, I've followed the exercises on the 21 Day Fix - mostly because I have them, and I know that they work for me. The host, Autumn, shouts some words of encouragement and things to think of as you work out, and fighting excuses is always one of them. At the same time, she talks about making modifications if something is too hard for you.

So when does feeling strained become a valid reason to modify an exercise, and when is it you just not wanting to push yourself hard enough? What, or who, is the deciding factor?

I've come across a lot of other excuses in my life, too.

I always complained about not having sidewalks or a neighborhood conducive to taking a daily walk with my kids. I love going for walks - it's the easiest, most peaceful form of low-impact exercise around, and for a creative, it can be energizing and inspiring, too. Last April and May, I found a way around my excuses and walked every single day, and afterward found myself wondering why I excused myself from trying for so long.

Another excuse I always allowed myself is being too tired, or my days being too hard. Don't get me wrong - there's some validity here. Running around doing errands and taking your kids where they need to go is exhausting, and Moms absolutely need a break. But I basically made it so that any day I left the house I was allowed to come home and do absolutely nothing else. I would say that I was too tired to do both out of the house and in the house work. I still am! But one day, after months (years!) of saying "it's too hard to do both," I finally said...."so what if it's hard?" I still allow myself to take an hour during naptime to watch my soap and work on blogging, but leaving the house no longer means I get a pass on housework.

Here's the thing.

There's a huge focus, especially in the blogging community and the world of social media, on self-love, self-care, and daily pampering. While I think it's a great idea to continually remember your own personal needs and wants in life (uh, I kind of built a blog around it), I think this self-care movement is a little blurry. Especially as busy women, it's really easy to use it to say, "it's okay if slack on this or that because I'm in my leggings for the night and I say so."

Isn't it sort of wild that right now, keeping up with everyone else means being totally stylish and put together, also flawlessly casual, amazingly fit, a kick-ass healthy cook, an outrageously talented crafter, a master party-thrower, an incredible spouse and friend, a well-read intellect, and an expert on pop culture....all at the same time, despite many of those things contradicting each other?

How are we supposed to do it all and nothing at all?

And when do the cross-over conflicts of juggling all of those things become excuses and stop being about legitimately having too much to do?

Which excuses are okay?

You guys - I'm 31 years old and I still have no idea. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this is a fairly recent problem for the women of this generation.

I certainly have to make an effort in my own life to see which excuses are worth a second look at and which ones I need to brush off. Sometimes it's okay to say you're too tired for something (like when I was falling asleep with a fever during a workout and still kept trying because I didn't want to fail?), and sometimes (like after grocery shopping in a blizzard with three small children) you have to keep trucking along and say, at least you have a grocery store to find your food in anytime you need (or just want) it.

Okay, so let's chat....what do you think about excuses?
Which ones are you most guilty of and which ones do you need to let yourself have?

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