What is it about mums of multiples and their bring-it-on! attitude?
All the twin-mummies that I know embrace life with a gung-go fervour. A few years ago, my best friend took her then 10-month-old girls to Europe, with her preschooler and husband because – well, they wanted to go to Europe.
Another, with triplets, would show up at mums’ group – enthused and together – after the rest of us had barely managed to drag ourselves and our singleton firstborn out of our front door, stumbling into the playgroup with a ‘give-me-a-medal’ mentality…
I’ve lost count of the number of parents I know who have shelved all travel plans until the children are older, because it’s ‘too hard’. And not just travel plans, either. Me-time. Exercise. Career development. Romantic weekends away. Hobbies…
A long way from Nike’s ‘Just do it’ philosophy, it’s a self-sabotaging decision to ‘Do it later’. Much later. Too late – in some cases.
There’s an adage that if you want something done, ask a busy person. As a work-life balance coach, I’m not a fan of the idea – sometimes busy people say ‘yes’ when their hearts are screaming ‘no’. Sometimes they’re being ‘badge of honour’ busy (finding significance through the “Ooh – I don’t know how you do its”). Maybe they’re running away from a problem they’re scared to fix. They might be flat out because they need to be liked…
That said, it’s true that busy people get things done. They charge full-steam ahead, ignoring or slashing obstacles in their path because they focus on Paris itself – not how painful it may be to get there.
And then there are people who won’t see Paris – not because they can’t afford to (my friend is still paying it off) but because they’re at home ‘what-iffing’ and filling the ‘too-hard basket’ with a lot of stuff that doesn’t belong in it.
They’re the wistful ‘One Day-ers’ saving everything for a time ‘when things are easier…’ or when the ducks line up. Meanwhile a casserole of regrets simmers in the slow-cooker.
This isn’t about Paris (unless that’s your goal, and what a great one!) It’s about the little things that we want to do – that would brighten our lives – and that we make excuses to avoid:
- I’m overweight because it’s too hard to exercise with work and kids
- I can’t sit down – I haven’t finished ‘all the things!’
- Who has time for romance?
- I’d love to change careers, but I’m too old/young/unqualified/scared etc.
We can settle for a life ‘half lived’ by focusing on why we ‘can’t do it’. We can play the martyr about what is holding us back.
Or we can see that the gate is wide open in front of us – if only we’d get up and walk through it. Leadership guru, Joseph Jaworski says this:
I discovered that people are not really afraid of dying; they’re afraid of not having ever really lived…
1. Choose one thing in your life that you’ve been making excuses to avoid.
2. Waste no time on ‘why shouldn’t I do this…’
3. Go Directly to Paris (or for a walk, on a date, to the jobs board…)
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not muck around on the ‘what-if’ couch, brewing regrets that will prove hard to swallow later on.
Photo: © Paul Hill – Fotolia.com