Expect Less of Yourself

*Not a picture of the writer*
Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

I am sitting here on my couch, trying to relax.

It’s 8pm and I just worked 9 hours. I work from home a few days a week, and this was one of those days. If your work from home style is anything like mine, and it probably is based on anecdotal evidence from so many people I know, you work and work and then it’s 8, 9, 10 hours later and you are like, “Maybe with a little more caffeine, I could power through this one more spreadsheet.”

NO. Do not do it. Work will always be there. It’s true. It feels good to get things done, it really does. But it feels better when your body rests and gets enough sleep. You will be more revitalized for tomorrow. For your family, your loved ones, your love of your life, your hobby.

I am writing this partially to convince myself. You see, I am here on the couch, but I am also eyeing my desk. My multi-screen set-up. I could probably cross another thing off of my list tonight. But, I’m being good. I’m sitting here in an uncomfortable position, “relaxing.” Am I doing it right??

I decided something today as I took a 30 minute “break” where I answered emails on my way to, while waiting at, and on the way back from Starbucks to get my daily peppermint mocha (I’m addicted, pleez send help).

I am no longer going to expect much from myself.

No, this does not mean that I am giving up on me, or that I am giving in to my failure. I am siding with reality. I have never been able to cross everything off of my daily to-do list in one day. Have you? Has anyone? Every day, I sit down, I write it out. I think, I plan, I assume this can be done in one hour, this can be done in two. They can’t. There will be emails that need me, coworkers who need help finding something, a Slack message from a workfriend.

I have decided to admit something to myself: I’m human. Humans suck at estimating – check it. I always think I only need 20 minutes in the morning to get ready. Then I miss my train. I think I’ll read my book on the way to work and back home. I just kind of turn into a lump instead. We all do it. My girlfriend and I together are terrible at getting to parties. We think we can shower, put on makeup, feed the cats and even bake cookies in the like 30 seconds we give ourselves. We are genuinely shocked when we are an hour late. But being late to a party’s cool, so whatever.

I want to give myself a break. I have 4 federally recognized disabilities. Yep, 4. MS makes me so frickin tired, and I don’t want to admit that. I want to work 9 hours and then run a fucking marathon and then come home and clean the house. I am Superwoman. And I am, but Superwoman needs to rest too.

So now, I am going to expect less of myself. I am writing my to-do lists and then cutting them in half. I did it today and it felt great. I still over-budgeted my time. But I am going to work on it. I want to cross off my list. I don’t want to feel bad about not finishing my impossible lump of tasks. I want to be like, “Fuck yeah, grrl! We nailed it!” and then high five myself. High fiving yourself feels great, you should try it. That’s a side note, but an important one.

Expect less of yourself, dear reader. Shower before the party but buy store cookies. Or go disheveled, but still feed the cats first, you monster. As for me, tomorrow I’ll write my list as usual, but this time, I’m going to tear it in half.

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