I have a confession.
A while back, when I was out with friends, I made a comment in jest about not exercising. One of the individuals present was shocked. Surely I was joking, they exclaimed. After all, there can't actually be someone who doesn't exercise.
And there's the confession. My comment was not actually in jest.
I haven't exercised regularly in months. Since July, to be exact.
Actually, let me be completely honest here, because the term "exercised regularly" makes it sound like I might be exercising irregularly or at least infrequently. I don't want there to be any confusion. I don't exercise. At all.
I'm not proud of this. I had been doing so great the first six months of the year. But between my new work schedule and the million other things, I just wasn't able to keep it up.
I also haven't stepped on the scale once during the last six months. But I figure that all my clothes still fit about the same, so things can't be too bad.
But this isn't necessarily about the exercise, or lack of it.
It's about expectations.
When that person expressed their shock, I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake them.
What more do people want from me?
Any time I mention things like this, I get a variety of advice about how to fix things: wake up earlier, walk during lunch, etc. I've tried a multitude of things and haven't found anything that works.
I work full-time plus, I have two children and a husband, I help take care of our house, I study each night, I blog (although infrequently lately, I know). I don't know what else people expect from me. I'm home and see my children awake for 2-3 hours a day. I'm not willing to take time away from that, even to exercise. After my children go to bed, I study for a hour, and go to sleep for my 6 hours of sleep each night. I just don't think I can do more.
I know that I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations except my own. But when someone mentions something that I should be doing - exercising, taking time each day for myself, sleeping more, doing more activities with my kids, recreational reading - it triggers that little insecure spot inside. The one that always feels like I'm not good enough, I'm not doing enough, I can't handle things. The one that tells me now matter how much I accomplish, I'm still going to disappoint people.
I'm sure that eventually I figure it out. The schedule won't always be so tight, the days won't always be so long. For now, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, and let that be good enough.
How do you handle pressure to do more? How do you cope with what feel like unrealistic expectations?