Still Not Good Enough

It's been four months since I started my Good Enough Project.  I've been so lax about mentioning it lately that I think I should recap:

Around the beginning of October I started feeling like everything in my life was sort of getting the good enough treatment. As in, I'm doing a good enough job at work. A good enough job at being a wife. A good enough job at blogging. And on and on. At the time it felt like the only thing that I was at all making a full effort to do a great job at was being a mom, and even then I still feel like there is room for improvement.

Well, it's been four months since I vowed to get things back on track, so I thought it would be a good time to check in. There's been substantial improvement in a few areas (I sold a book! I took a weekend trip with my highschool girlfriends! Greg and I got a little grown-up trip to NYC!), but overall I'm still not satisfied with how the various parts of my life are thriving. Or should I say, not thriving.

A lot of the problem has to do with the fact that my year started off with a bang, er, book contract, and this kind of threw any sort of routine out the window. Whatever precious time I'd been allocating for things like yoga, self-reflective baths and my feeble attempts to create a consistent meditation practice fell to the wayside as I was suddenly forced to prioritize writing time. I have just about a month before I have to send in the first draft of the book to my editor and every spare minute of my time right now is spent making sure that is going to happen.

I know, I know. This is a big deal and I should just remind myself that in a month I'll have more time for healthy interpersonal improvement. But the thing is that I'm kind of in need of it now. I also don't really believe that there is going to be that much more time once the book is done. We're moving across the country in a few months and there will be lots to do to prepare.

I guess I can't help but wonder if being a mother means that I'm going to spend the rest of my days trying to balance all the parts of my life. Does being a parent mean that you never have enough time for yourself? Does it have to mean that? I'd like to think no. I'd like to think that even though these toddler years are demanding, there is still a way to make sure I am replenishing the rest of my life too.

I don't have the answers to these questions but talking helps. Thanks for listening.

My name is Claire and I'm having a hard time balancing everything.



  • Tonia
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    My name is Tonia and I am having a hard time balancing everything!

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Hahaha… And yay, Im not alone!

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m right there with you. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic in my own life. I think this is the nature of life and everyone has struggles with it. There always seems to be something that will get the bigger piece of the pie at one point. Should life be in balance then? I’m sort of picturing a big roulette wheel and the little ball falls on the thing of the moment that needs attention. Then, it spins again and on to the next item. I think if you are infusing each day with some sort of joy-filled moment or thing that makes you smile then you’re a winner. If we allow that to be enough, then it will be. It’s just all easier said than done.

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    You raise a very good question — should life be in balance? Does it even exist? Maybe I should start a new blog called The Balance Myth. I dont know if life should be in balance. Certainly not all the time. But all the same, I cant help wishing for it. I think youre spot on though about having each day contain a joyous and present moment. It sounds somewhat manageable, at least!

  • Nicole
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Stephanie Klein, another blogger, has coined the expression “balance is bullshit” re: life as a working mother. I’m very single, with no kids, and am pretty overwhelmed with my responsibilities in a professional job and graduate school. I think you are doing really great Claire. I think that we tend to always be reaching towards the next accomplishment, without really reveling in all the good that is right now. Seriously, a book deal, a grown up trip to New York, a weekend with high school girlfriends, and an cross-country move (all in the space of less than a year)? That means you are doing far better than good enough, you are doing great, seriously. And if you weren’t doing all these amazing things, that would be ok, too. Just keep writing, please. We love your blog. 😉

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m moving house at the moment — and it’s one of those huge moves, even though I’m only moving from one end of the suburb to the other. Huge in that there’s a lot of stuff to trawl through (not all mine), a lot of cleaning to do. And huge in that it’s taking a big shift emotionally. This is not a move by choice, sadly.
    Anyway, my point is, I can hardly think of anything else, and everything else (can you tell?) has fallen by the wayside. I feel impatient with myself. But I keep trying to tell myself that I just need to wait until it’s done. I imagine finishing off your book is about the same. And I think, even though you’ll have a whole lot of things to do for your big move, once the book is done, maybe you could give yourself just a few days of rest. Prepare yourself for the next thing!
    That said, I hope you can find a few moments between now and then to rest, and to look after yourself.

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I interviewed a life coach the other day about this. She’s a retired CEO, mom of four, ordained minister, does a weekly radio show and a lot of other things. She said she thought work/life balance is a myth. Her exact words were, “You CAN have it all, just not at the same time!” Hang in there, and congrats on your book deal and upcoming move 🙂

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I love it. Balance is bullshit. My new motto. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement! And dont worry, I wont stop writing. Its the one thing that keeps me sane these days!

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, moving is so hard isnt it? So not looking forward to that happening in a few months. Why is it so hard?? Just all the sorting and packing and tossing and organizing? Wishing you lots of peace and rest once its over! Good luck!

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I love that! You CAN have it all, just not at the same time! Definitely something to keep in mind. I think there really might be something to this balance being a myth thing. I guess its just about finding a way to feel comfortable in the chaos, huh?

  • Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I have a hard time balancing, and I am not taking care of anyone but me! I’m starting to realize that it’s more important to pay attention where it’s needed. Balance may not be the key, after all!
    Wishing you a smooth moving experience, and an amazing 1st draft send off next month!

  • Wendy
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    For the past 3+ years work, school, 4 kids, oh and a major move in the middle of all that has meant balance has been pretty much nonexistant in my life. I have run around merely putting out fires and trying to keep from sinking under the weight of all the responsibilities in my life. With school done and graduation less than a month away I feel more calm and yet completely unsettled all at the same time. I am already restlessly searching for the next thing in my life. What I have come to realize is that balance means something different to everyone.For me it means nurturing my mind, body, and spirit while giving love and attention to the people that mean the most to me, my family.
    Good luck finding your balance Claire!

  • Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    i read recently that the reason people become miserable is because they resist seeing what IS. sounds to me, and to other commenters, like you are doing more than most, but not seeing it because you are spending so much time in what you are NOT doing. i don’t know! paying attention to your needs is important though–i mean, how much time will a bubblebath take away from your writing, and how much will it benefit your writing? an old supervisor of mine coined the phrase “being comfortable with the chaos”, and i love it, because that is the world, claire, not an “ordered, everything done and in nice piles, balanced” thing. from a cognitive perspective, the problem is not your life, but how you think about it. is there a way to make adjustments to your thinking as life changes so you can feel okay in the chaos? just wonderin’

  • Posted February 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Youre a good shrink, Tony. Thanks for making me rethink my point of view!

  • Posted February 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Wendy! It sounds like youve gotten good at being comfortable not being comfortable! If that makes sense…

  • Posted February 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Jo! Even when youre just taking care of yourself it can be tough to keep everything running smoothly!

  • Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert its like your ‘having sex with your favourite movie star but wishing you were having sex with your other favourite movie star’. I know this blog only gives us slices of your life – but to me you seem to be a superhuman, writing a book, writing a blog, raising a lovely little girl, cooking, travelling.I agree with Tony take a deep breath and take in the wonderful life you have. I recently got a message from a friend of mine who is a spiritual healer…”you are perfect and the whole world around you is perfect – nothing needs to change”. You are better than good enough you are perfect – everyone is.

  • Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Such a good message to remember…and to repeat every day! Thank you for the kind words, and the gentle reminder.

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