The Sacrifice of Intentionality
Some people might say that I have no life, but it’s a deliberate (and recent) choice, so don’t pity me. In fact, after I tell you what I have to say, you might just want to join me because, and I say this with the utmost sincerity, having no life is the best gift I could’ve given myself.
Here’s the deal…
We live in a society in which people are expected to do – and be – everything. Somehow, it’s supposed to be possible to be a stellar wife, devoted mother, captain of industry, and homemaker extraordinaire all while making it to the gym five days a week and having dinner (preferably home cooked) on the table by 6:15. Or, if you’re single, the expectation seems to be that you maintain a full and active social life – going on dates and hanging out with friends with the five-night-a-week regularity of a Carrie Bradshaw or Miranda Hobbes. On top of this schedule of sexual liaisons and heart-to-heart girl-time, you’re also supposed to log sixty-hour work weeks so you can break through the glass ceiling with one Rockette-style high kick.
Oh, and, speaking of kicking, you too had better get your ass to Tae Bo and Zumba and Spinning and Yoga, because, unlike your supermom doppelgangers, any excess weight you happen to be sporting cannot be attributed to the baby your biological clock is telling you you might never have.
So, yeah, getting it all done and making it look easy seems to be what we’re supposed to do. I’m not sure how or why this is the case and I kind of sort of blame the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for equal pay for equal work and I do NOT believe that women should be chained to the bed with enough slack to reach the kitchen (despite what my crazy Uncle Jake told me back when I was still a child). But I do think that, in our effort to prove to ourselves – and to the men around us – that we women could make it in a “man’s world” we set ourselves up.
Women haven’t just said, “I can do the job of any man – just watch me.”
We’ve said, “I can do the job of any man, plus continue doing the job of a woman. Just watch me.”
And, then, to put even more accelerant on this inferno of self-imposed craziness, we signed up for social media so we could Facebook-stalk and Twitter-follow those who seemed to be managing better than we were.
So that brings me to my no-life situation. A week and a half ago, I was going out on dates, making time for friends, teaching yoga and trying to write my next memoir in between Match.com emails and I had a sudden, life-altering realization. I went home one night, my stomach in knots, suffering from a bout of ass-blasting diarrhea (My gut is my barometer. It lets me know when something’s “off”), lay on my couch, crampy and miserable, and thought, Something is out of balance.
But I had my to-do list.
In case you haven’t read my to-do list, lately, the top two items have been:
1. Obtain a publishing contract with a Big-Five publisher
2. Meet and marry my soulmate
The only problem was that both objectives require a huge amount of investment from me. An investment of time, energy, focus, money (And did I mention time?). And, at the moment, I’m also teaching yoga, working one-on-one with clients, doing Emotional Yoga and EFT, editing existing writing projects, and marketing my books.
And, like everyone else, I have the daily tasks of everyday life – eating, sleeping, showering, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, paying bills…
Plus, I’ve been trying to maintain my important friendships and traveling to Connecticut to visit my family more than I usually do. So I had to get honest with myself about my priorities and my limitations. For those of you who don’t know me all that well, admitting my limitations is excruciating for me. It opens the floodgates to my You are not enough thinking and makes me feel like a worthless piece of shit. But it’s also liberating – once I’ve done it.
So I dug down and got painfully honest with myself and realized that the thing I most want in my life right now is to sign with a Big Five publisher and to be making my living as a writer. So I decided to focus on that.
That doesn’t mean that, if I run into Mr. Wonderful in line at Whole Foods tomorrow I won’t be open to a date. I sure will. (In fact, if you’re reading this, Mr. Wonderful, I will, indeed, be at Whole Foods tomorrow. I’ll be the girl in the yoga pants scoping out the pomegranate seeds).
But what it means is that I’m giving up striving for a relationship. I’m taking a break from Match and not going to any singles events and, on Saturday nights, I’ll be at home in my pajamas sending out query letters and book review requests and not applying lipstick on the way out the door to meet yet another single guy for a night of forced smiles and awkward small-talk.
I’m happy about this. I’m happy to feel like I’ve prioritized my single, most-important dream. And, even if others might say I have no life, I’m excited to see how much more will come from doing less.