December 1 Prompt
Author: Gwen Bell
Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
So it’s Day One of #reverb10. I thought the first one would be easy. And it is, sort of. Come up with two words, one to describe 2010, and one to describe 2011.
I’m not a one-word thinker. I think in paragraphs, not bullet points. I’m a bit of a talker, and it sometimes takes time for me to get to the point. This one word thing seems to be following me. I came up with my one word from the conversation about it at Blissdom Canada earlier this year. It only took me nearly two weeks to come up with it. And I’m supposed to come up with two “one words” tonight?
Can I use the same word? I don’t think so, they don’t seem to match.
2010 was an interesting year. We saw lots of milestones in the Mitchell household. Flora moved further away from babyhood and into toddlerhood by learning to walk and talk, having her one-year anniversary at daycare and having her second birthday. Of course lots of other things happened to her this year, but these are the big ones.
But this isn’t about my daughter’s year, it’s about my year.
I’m having trouble separating them though. I’ve written and erased several sentences of clichés about my life as a working mum of a toddler. It pisses me off that I’ve become that clichéd image of a working mum. I’m not high in the office pecking order, so it’s not like balancing these two parts is any more difficult than it is for most parents.
But it is really hard sometimes.
So I guess my one word to describe 2010 is “blended”. I’m certainly not balanced. The scale tips this way and that depending on who needs me more when. Sometimes it’s Flora. Sometimes it’s work. Sometimes it’s Sean. Sometimes it’s family.
Sometimes – and not nearly often enough – it’s me.
No one is balanced. I’ve learned that no matter what I’m doing, I’ll always feel guilty I’m not doing something else, everything else, all at the same time and to as close to perfection as I can get. So, everything gets blended into one big thing. I’m lucky that my job doesn’t require lot of take-home work. I don’t travel anywhere and I like the people I work with.
Still, it takes a lot of energy to keep the machine running sometimes.
I don’t expect 2011 to be much different. I’ll still have a toddler (an older toddler, but she won’t be three until September) and I’ll still be trying to manage everything all at the same time.
To be clear, I don’t manage everything on my own. Sean is a great dad and a hard worker and I know he feels as pulled in as many different directions as I do. I’m grateful that we’re in this together.
I try to remember that you can’t make everyone happy at the same time, so you need to make yourself happy first. I don’t always succeed in living by that motto, but remembering it is a good start.
So my ideal 2011 could be summed up as “prioritized”. I’ll do better with picking my battles – I can’t pick all of them at the same time. I’ll try and make the right choices that best take care of my family, and of myself. I will make Sean and my marriage a priority. I will make myself a priority. We can’t all be Priority One all the time, but we can’t all be left off the list either.