I had a realization today. Brace yourselves.
I’ve been feeling a bit of anxiety over the last few days. Overwhelmed over life in general. It’s been a hard week. I got a cold over the weekend, just in time for my triathlon. Big Fig got sick at the same time, and Little Fig has been fighting a double ear infection. There hasn’t been a lot of sleep in the Newton house, but of course, life doesn’t exactly let up either.
Work has been crazy busy. We’ve had so much change in our company, the organization I’m in and the one I support, and just in general. It’s been a lot to take in, and while it can be exciting, it can be very overwhelming trying to keep up. I want to do the best in everything I do and provide the best performance possible. When faced with so much change though, it’s hard to not second guess yourself.
Now that Ramblin’ Rose is done, my triathlon training has come to a halt and I can now get back to a normal workout routine. Kind of. I purchased several Groupons for different fitness facilities but they have timelines. I want to get the most out of the deals so I need to attend their classes… which is just hard to fit into my already busy schedule. But exercising has also become part of maintaining my own mental well-being. I like the feeling I get when I’m done with a workout, and when I’m working out, I generally have the chance to focus on something other than the craziness of life, and can work on my own strength and mental improvement (thus, this tends to be where I have a lot of my ‘deep thoughts’).
Ultimately, and always, the most important thing of all is my family. I want to be there with them, for them, and have the most time with them that I can. When multiple members are feeling sick, it just sucks. My kids are also at the point where they’re going through ‘big emotions’ and it can be overwhelming. They get home from daycare – we’re tired from work, they’re tired from school – there can be a lot of temper tantrums in the house and we just want to have some quality time with our kiddos.
So this week, feeling tired, overwhelmed, and just generally under the weather… it has been hard. Once the kids are in bed, if I’m not catching up on work, working out, studying for my AFAA certifications, or catching up on life with my husband (notice I didn’t even mention tv because let’s be honest, up until last night we were two weeks behind on Game of Thrones and that’s pretty much the only thing I’m watching right now), I’m on social media and catching up with friends and the general internet. I’m pretty active on Facebook groups for my local mother’s group communities, or pages with friends, and I usually really enjoy it. It can be a mindless time suck, but sometimes I just want it so that I can decompress. But this week in particular, I’ve found that the drama and judgement is really just more than I can handle.
A friend of mine, Erin from A Parenting Production, posted an excellent post that pretty much summed up how I feel.
I’m so tired of the petty arguments, the cattiness, and the endless judgement. I’ve faced it myself on my journey with comments about how by working out, I’ve taken time away from my family so clearly, I don’t love them enough. Seriously? Because I have made being healthy a priority, ‘I chose to not spend enough time with my family.’ I’ve been reading posts where people have insinuated (or flat out said) that people who spend time doing activities that aren’t 100% around their child are bad parents. Or going on a weekend trip with friends or just your significant other is a bad thing.
People (or what I tend to see most from the groups I’m in, other women and mothers) ganging up on people for their differing views. It’s completely an internet version of Mean Girls and I’ve witnessed people that I thought were friends completely turn on each other.
And yes, I’ve totally been guilty of this myself. I’ve rolled my eyes to the point where my head hurts, and I’ve had side conversations of ‘I can’t believe so and so did this.’ But you know what I’ve realized? It’s not worth my time. I start to see some of these arguments that become so damn trivial in the grand scheme of things. I went to the doctor today to have a skin spot checked out and as I’m stressing about something like this, and seeing posts about people with problems that matter, about sickness, loss, or just appreciation and support for others, I think to myself, why do I care if someone parents in xyz manner or if someone writes (or doesn’t) a thank you card for a kids birthday party? Why would I sit there and then sling insults at someone over the computer because they choose to do something a little differently? Why does everything have to be a fight over why someone else does something better, or that because of this they must love their family more, or just how people spend their time in general? We’re all going to do things differently, and we’re going to do what works for us. I feel like a broken record, but I would rather focus on the positive. I want to build up my true friendships – those with people who are actually there to offer support in my community of friends, and who have continued to be a presence in my life. I’m tired of the constant criticism, judgement, and anger. I want to spend my time with my family and with these people that I love – not with people who just want to bring me or others down. People who aren’t willing to support me with how I live my life currently and who want to claim that my priorities have changed… well, I hate to break it to you, but they have.
So with that, I’m going to make some changes. I’m prioritizing what’s important to me. It won’t always be 100%, it won’t be immediate, and I’ve asked my husband to hold me accountable. But I’m unsubscribing from the majority of my groups. I’m stepping back. I’m going to focus on things that I want to be a priority. Less on things that just aren’t worth my time and that bring me down mentally. I’m focusing my time on what I can and want to do. I’ve had to bow out of some social commitments and I know I won’t always be ‘in the loop’ as to what’s going on, but I want to take the time to focus on what is important to me. Because life is short, and I want to spend my time wisely, with those I love.