In the last week I’ve had four different, unrelated people tell me something along the lines of, “I just don’t know how you do it all!”
(I suspect by “all” they’re talking about working full-time from home, homeschooling, blogging, etc. They probably include the fact we have three kids aged 6 and under and one on the way, but I don’t know that being able to procreate is something I’ve got an exclusive “lock” on as that’s a basic ability to most organisms.)
One of these people even accused me of wearing a super hero cape.
When any topic or phrase crosses my line of vision more than three times, I file it away as a potential blog post. This one is uncomfortable, because it could be really easy to sound arrogant and like I have life figured out… which is not the case at all. I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance.
Just in case you’re wondering how I do it all, here’s how I’ve achieved my “super hero” status:
I have an amazing husband. Truly. Our marriage has ups and downs and is not without occasional significant conflict, but when it came to sharing my life with someone who inspires me… I lucked out. Lizard does practical things like dress the girls almost every day, unplug the toilet, and tell me he likes my (often questionable) cooking. He also does big picture, genuinely kind things like tell me I’m a good writer, talk me up in front of others, protect me from stressful situations, and selflessly consider the needs of our family. I hit the jackpot when we met and fell in love.
I try not to worry about fitting in. I’ve always been the weird kid. I have scoliosis (my spine is shaped like an “S”) and I had to wear a back brace from neck to hip to treat the condition from 5th grade to my junior year of high school. While other kids weren’t often mean to me about it, there’s no denying my childhood was influenced and my aspirations were independent of most peer relationships. I spent a lot of time reading adventure books and imagining I could conquer the world. Giving up in the face of adversity was never an acceptable option.
There’s a decent chance I was born with more restless ambition than most. Depending on the personality test I’m a choleric, ENFP, virgo, beaver, etc… whatever test I take I come out “bossy.” My natural instincts are to take charge, analyze tricky, complicated situations, see the solutions, and get other people organized to fix it. I’m not emotional or nurturing, but I am incredibly task and action-oriented.
But here’s the Achilles Heel of being a Super Hero:
As a perfectionistic achiever, I fail my expectations on a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment basis. I lose my patience, rarely hit the domestic nail on the head, undervalue my husband, regret not spending time listening to the hearts of my children, wish I showered more frequently, and am a terrible dog owner because I won’t groom those (literally) stinkin’ puddles. Most days I wear a dunce cap more comfortably and graciously than a super hero cape. Really.
And yet, amazingly, stunningly, some people think I do it all.
(My best guess is they’ve been licking toads and getting high in their free time.)
You want to know the truth about being “Super”?
Every single person who told me they’re shocked I do what I do… well, I can’t figure out how they do what they do! They’re super heroes in my eyes! (I’m not just saying that. I’m really in awe.)
It makes me think, to be a super hero, to do it all, you simply do the work that’s in front of you utilizing the gifts and talents you already possess.
True, you pick up additional skill sets along the way that make you more successful — special powers! — but from the get-go, you already have everything you need to be effective.
Everything. Just show up to do your work.
For some people it’s rocket science or trash collection. For others it’s domestic genius or organizing class field trips.
Some women are clocked to work out of the home 40+ hours a week and they change the world. Some are gifted to raise children and find wholehearted happiness and success.
Some have strings of activities and accomplishments after their names. Others have families rise up and call them blessed.
The key to being a super hero is to A) recognize capes look different on different people and B) put the cape on each morning when it would be easier to go back to sleep.
My bet is you’re wearing a cape right now, even if you haven’t noticed. Hats off to you.
What do you think is the key to being a Super Hero?
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This post was originally published June 9, 2012 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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