never enough


I count my calories. At 8pm, I’m over by 45 already and my options are to be satisfied for the day or to go burn a few hundred calories working out so I can have more. Specifically, so I can have that cup of yogurt with 2/3 cup granola on top (240 calories). I usually choose the workout (and the granola).

I toss the impulse cardigan into the red plastic cart. Its bright pink hue with on-trend pockets and generously sized buttons assure me I will feel pretty in it. You know what would go great with this cardigan? That taupe v-neck tee-shirt on the display next to it. But I can’t. I shouldn’t.

I wake to the sound of his slow, carefully measured steps on the stairs. It’s been what, 35 minutes since I dozed off? It’s as if they know which days Mommy lays down to rest, too and they intentionally cut their naps short on occasions such as this. I want to be happy that my groggy-headed toddler has emerged for the afternoon, but I also want to still be sleeping.

I’m not a fan of our kitchen, I’ll admit. After we finish the garage this summer, we’ll be entering the house awkwardly routed through the kitchen via the back porch. What if we made the porch part of the kitchen, though? We’d just have to gut everything in the porch, replace, raise and insulate the floor, replace the windows and door, patch part of the stucco,  tear out a large wall, and re-sheet-rock the whole thing.

I spent hours staring at a mostly white screen, waiting for the perfect words. Finally they came. I dug deep into the caverns of my soul and spilled out thoughts I’d hardly share with someone face-to-face, let alone anonymous masses on the internet. It was sure to resonate with people, to touch them, to change them. It got 4 comments.

I wanted to do lettuce again this year, but it seemed silly to plant just one veggie, so I also bought seeds for tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, radishes, summer squash and herbs. We’ll also need supplies to build a raised bed, some lattice for the beans and cucumbers to grow on, and some good compost. Just like that, my small garden experiment has turned into a sizable undertaking.

I wonder if that twitter friend of mine has gone into labor yet. I should check. And that edgy blogger wrote a post that’s getting a lot of buzz, I should pull it up and read it. Did I ever text that friend back about our play date at the park? What’s the weather going to be like that day? Wait, why did I turn on my phone?

I lay my head on the pillow and replay the day. My thoughts are filled with should haves and shouldn’t haves. Tomorrow I’ll stick to my calories. Tomorrow I won’t stray from the shopping list. Tomorrow I’ll be the mom I ought to be. Tomorrow we’ll clean out the porch and start the planning process. Tomorrow I’ll write that perfect piece. Tomorrow I’ll plant the seed starters indoors. Tomorrow I’ll be more intentional with my screen time.

27 Responses to “never enough”

  1. Samantha

    Oh, it feels like you are speaking from my heart. My desire to be perfect or just “more” (and everything that represents me to be perfect, like my home), is exhausting. It’s like a race that never ends, and when I get off course I am so hard on myself.

    Give yourself some wiggle room. Allow yourself to be “enough” in that moment once in awhile and enjoy it when you do. And I will try to take my own advice.

  2. Cat

    *sigh* Yup. God’s been showing me perfectionism in my heart and how I need to extend grace to myself. I don’t like it… Sorry it’s been rough. Thanks for being honest!

  3. Amanda

    I never had the chance to meet you while you were here in Nashville for Blissdom, but wanted to pop in here and say: I GET IT.

    Wow, do I get it.

    My family and I went on a hike yesterday in this beautiful sunshine we’re still having in Nashville and I had to force myself not to take my DSLR camera to capture an even better outdoor shot of them playing in the woods. I settled for my phone and snapped a few adorable fun shots and actually ENJOYED the time with them instead of worrying how it was going to look. (And my husband didn’t get mad b/c I had a camera stuck to my face the entire time.)

    Oh, I get it. Trying to focus on this life and what’s great about it as it is? That’s my goal now.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. R's Mom

    It’s always something, isn’t it? I really need to settle down, and focus on what I have, because I have so much. But I always want to be more for my family, be more for my boss, decorate our home better, save more money, lose more weight, be a better dresser, etc. etc. I’m never satisfied, and that’s unsettling. It’s hard to be in the moment when I’m always thinking about what should be different.

  5. Dawn S

    Every day.

    I get frustrated with repeating the “tomorrow” every day too, but I also think every thought and plan is already a step toward the next day’s improvement.

    Thank you for putting the thoughts also in my head out into beautifully written words! I love other mamas who “get it”

  6. bekah

    My husband is fighting depression right now. As it is, we are both perfectionists and always have been. It’s a lot of pressure to be a perfectionist (not saying you are one) and constantly saying to yourself, “I should be doing this or that.” Working through his depression (and my PPD last year), we have realized that saying “I should” all the time, which we do, is like poison. It immediately makes us aware of the expectations, most of the time unrealistic, that we are constantly setting for ourselves. If we don’t do what we think we should be doing, we are failures.

    A tiny adjustment we have made is to say, instead, “I want to do this or that.” It hardly seems like much, but somehow it helps relieve some of that terrible pressure to perform.

    You are doing great, mama. Love yourself.

  7. Amanda

    O, I know friend. I forced myself to write down all I accomplished this weekend, because it was too much. And I don’t want to spend my life just do-ing. I need to take some time to be, and to be with my family and friends. After having baby #2, I’m learning I need to prioritize so much more carefully. And say no. And stop trying to cook everything from scratch. :) Praying for you (and all of us) to know His peace this week, to know we are enough in Him, adeqate because of Him. xoxo

  8. Susan

    I can identify with those feelings. I have them each day and our lives are nothing alike. Yet the feeling of not being enough or having enough are universal.

    In regard to the garden comment – have you seen on the internet the straw bale gardens that some are doing? You would have a way to grow everything you want and with much less up front investment. It’s something I want to do myself this year.

    You are doing great on your weight loss journey, even though it continues to be a struggle. Three weeks in I’ve only lost 5 pounds myself, but I sit at a desk for 12+ hours a day so I don’t have (take) much time to excercise.

  9. Jill

    I wrote a blog post similar to yours today…must have been Monday…and me reading about everyone’s weekend at Blissdom and thinking about so much and how to say it and live it and wonder if what I say and think matters.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

  10. Sarah-Anne

    oh friend. really, you are you and you are enough. the world is trying to tell all of us different but it’s just lies. i know the feeling and it is pretty stinky.
    praying for you!

  11. Stephanie

    That last paragraph? Absolutely, 100% how I end my day. Every day. I pray that at some point in my life I will learn to stop replaying the days regrets. Nothing will ever be perfect but one day maybe I won’t mind so much that it isn’t!


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