Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Only human

"How do you do it all?"

Carefully staged so as to take advantage
of the 6 inches of clean counter space.
I hear people ask each other that all the time. "How do you balance being a writer and having a full-time job and having a social life and keeping the house together and..."

Sadly, they expect the answer is "I do it all perfectly and have no trouble. There's something wrong with you, that you can't, but if you figure out how to fix it you too can be perfect."

The truth is, nobody can do everything. Me? I'm not a parent, my house (okay, duplex) is usually messy, and I can probably get one solid book out a year, max, with the day job. My roommate even does half the cleaning and it's still usually messy.

Vacuuming happens when there are visitors. That's about the only time. Sorry, folks, I'm a-gonna pop that bubble o' delusion.

I admit to this because I see lots of people who half kill themselves trying to accomplish everything and then some. Me? I've come to terms with a lack of perfection. If the house isn't a health safety violation, and nobody's coming over, we're good. I prioritize the day job (gotta pay the rent), write after work, and yes, maintain a social life--but my friends know I don't go out every night of the week, and sometimes I'll just stay home to recuperate, or to write.

We don't love people for being perfect; we love them despite their perfections. It's their flaws we are drawn to, and the aspects of themselves that they hate the most are the ones we most identify with.

That doesn't mean it's okay ignore all your flaws and cavort in jerkishness. But it does mean that being human isn't a bad thing.

Do you beat yourself up for not being able to do everything? What do you prioritize to always get done, and what gets laid by the wayside?

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