by Laurie Erdman
Like the average Care2 reader, I have a lot of things going on. This year I’ve made hundreds of pots, been working a day job, practicing daily yoga, writing for Owning Pink, writing for my own blogs, cookings lots of healthy meals, serving on a non-profit board, returning to school . . . Oh heck, you get the idea – it’s a long list of commitments. At least once a week someone asks me, “How do you do it all?” My answer is always the same – I do less.
Whhaaat? I know it sounds ironic, but one of the tools in my radical self-care toolbox is “doing less.” But how is that possible when I am doing more than I ever did? Even I was confused by this paradox.
Those Were the Days
To understand how I discovered this paradox, we have to turn the clock back over the last fifteen years. Those were the days when I worked 60 plus hours a week and was defined by my job. I could never seem to do enough. I would sign up for book clubs or yoga classes as part of my self care, only to never show up because of work obligations. Eventually, I dropped out of all extra-curricular activities because they created too much stress in my life. The only exception was pottery. There was something powerful enough in clay that I found the self-love to protect my six hours of weekly studio time. Everything else, however, was up for trade to the almighty job.
Why did I live like this? Fear. I feared I would lose my job if I failed at the littlest thing. And that fear spawned a number of other fears about supporting myself, being a failure, etc. Were any of my fears true? Of course not. But I was too uncertain of my own worth and abilities to see the truth. I was stuck.