While I was in college and during the year Matthew and I did the long distance thing, I lived in a tiny little two bedroom, one bath house built in the 1950’s. That house had ugly green carpets, a bit of a roach problem, and was terribly drafty… I remember the walls in winter being ice cold, and in the summer the AC ran almost all day long. But I loved that little house, and I was proud to call it home, despite all the troubles that come with renting an older place.
I remember always feeling overwhelmed, though. I had one bathroom, and I couldn’t keep it clean. A bedroom that was always strewn with clothes and textbooks and other miscellaneous junk. 900 square feet of space, and yet I couldn’t keep the carpets clean or the kitchen tidy or the yard manicured.
Now I know part of that just has to do with being young and busy and inexperienced in such matters (up until that point, I’d only had to keep a bedroom clean). But sometimes I look back on that and think to myself how pathetic it was that I couldn’t keep up with that place. I was busy, but not that busy. What it came down to was that I was just lazy and didn’t understand my own potential to get things done and, yes, still have time to relax.
The result was that I always felt guilty, always felt behind, never had that “ahhhhhh…” feeling of a clean home and an organized life. Now don’t get me wrong—I definitely haven’t perfected all this yet. Quite the contrary. But looking back on my past and also watching people I admire, like my husband, and the way they tackle all the tasks set before them has been a learning experience for me over the last couple of years. I’ve learned that almost all of my limitations are self-imposed, and I’m working on training myself to be another way, even though it doesn’t really come natural to me.
The second post I ever wrote on this blog was titled “people do what they want to do,” and it was about just that. If someone isn’t keeping up with things they should be in their life, it’s because they don’t want to. There are other things more important to them, and they haven’t developed the habits to do the things they should before they do the things they want. And I guess my challenge to myself lately (and now maybe you?) is to do the things you should, and just maybe, when you develop those good habits, they’ll become the things you want. I’m seeing this happen in my own life! Slowly, but surely. I’m taking an active role in my life—making actionable plans, and then carrying them out. I even have an accountability partner I “check in” with via Skype every day, and it’s been helping SO much.
We’re all so different. Some of us are “take the bull by the horns” types, maybe because of our personalities or our upbringing, etc. But I believe that, even if you’re not, you can train yourself to be. You can make your life something you’re proud of, whether you’re a student, a stay at home mom, a small business owner, or climbing up the corporate ladder (and everything in between).
Just some random thoughts I’m thinking today. Hope it’s a good one for you!