I have spent the better part of my life going through layers of phases of trying be the best: the best athlete, the best mother, the best wife…writer, homemaker, friend, dressed.
The voice inside my head was always wanting more than what I was seeing in myself. I’ve wanted my kids, and even their friends, to like me the most. I’ve wanted to be the best athlete in our gym. And, I’ve spent probably my life up until recently wanting my friends to consider me the best friend they’ve ever had.
Doesn’t all of that sound so ridiculous, on so many levels?
For starters, it’s just not even possible. You can’t be “the best”, in this matter of speaking, without living a life of imbalance. In a hugely magnified sense, being the best in the world means that most of the other areas of your life are being compromised.
You can’t be the best athlete in the world and be the best mother, too. You can’t be the best mother in the world, and be the best friend, too. And, when it comes down to it, there is just no such thing as “the best friend in the world”…to every one.
Striving for perfection, on any level, is dangerous because it’s (a) realistically unattainable, and (b) an ideal that likely sets you up for disappointment.
Theodore Roosevelt nailed it: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
This is more realistic. This is more attainable. And, this is what I have playing in the back of my head all day.
When I’m on hour two of trying to homeschool our two young kids, and they’re still not able to read a book without breaking down in tears or can’t remember to use their lower case letters instead of capitals.
When my big plans of taking the 7:30 am CFNE Zoom class and doing my strength work and a rowing piece turn into me being 15 minutes late for the class, and needing to skip both the extra sessions because I forgot about the kids’ morning class chats and Jonah just texted me his “breakfast order”. But, somehow I’m still in my workout clothes at 8pm, not having had time to even shower yet…and, looking like I’ve been training all day.
Or, when the story I’m telling myself is that Maya and Jonah like being at their Dad’s house more than ours…or, that Bode and Harley Love love Ben more than they love me.
As impressive and satisfying as it would sound, we just can’t be everything to everybody all of the time. And, as much as we believe we know people that are, we don’t. Those people may exist in our minds, but they don’t exist in real life.
Be the best version of YOU. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. And, remember that doing YOUR best is better than being THE best.