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"Am I Striving for Excellence or Spreading Myself Too Thin?"

Bridget Flannery

6 min read

Apr 29

24

0

The other day my husband and I were on an hour-long drive to get blueberry plants because this year I want to start a garden. Now some context, my oldest son LOVES blueberries so why not grow them instead of paying for them, especially when I wanted to start a realistic garden for my first year. Secondly, this is something I have researched regularly but was planning on purchasing from an online store that produced container-sized plants. This is key because we have a very small backyard that we are currently adding a chicken coop to it. So now, in the back of my car, we have these 3 blueberry plants and two unplanned raspberry plants. While driving the hour back home my husband, from what I remember 😉, is badgering me on where we will be planting them. I get super overwhelmed because I

want to make sure they grow and have convinced myself I need the perfect container or they will die. He insists that I am spreading myself too thin... but am I?


The past year has brought with it many changes in our lives. I know none of you share the same story as us, but I am sure you can relate. This year I wanted to get back to our roots and start my own things, this blog, chickens, a garden. These things that I feel like will bring me a sense of purpose, but are they doing the opposite?


Let's talk about spreading ourselves too thin. Sometimes people feel like they don't have time for themselves, their families, or the things they enjoy because they accept invitations or obligations that they feel they must do, but that don't benefit them. Often, these are the things that lead us to feeling overwhelmed and overextended. When this happens, people may find that they have too many commitments that don't actually help them. For me, this would be the breaking point to spreading yourself too thin or being overcommitted to too many different things.


I feel like I have never had an issue being over-committed or the feeling of "this is too much", at least in areas that I can get rid of. Finding out my son has a medical condition that is life-changing, yes that made me feel way over my head and to the point where it was a lot of information and unknowns, but those things cannot be changed or things that can make you feel spread too thin. Those research days, days of overwhelming emotions, those moments of feeling like it is too much are normal, and real, and need to be prioritized so every day does not feel like that. Those days were a lot and although my husband and I talked about individually finding a therapist we chose to confide in one another and talk out all the bad and scary thoughts that came into our heads. This allowed those days to start to get less overwhelming and allowed us both to find a way to find our new normal. I wanted to bring this up because some moments in our life feel too much, they feel like we are spread too thin, but we cannot change anything about it to the point of dropping the thing that is making us feel overwhelmed, in my case I cannot ignore my newborn baby, I cannot hide the fact that our life is forever changed from what we expected it to be, life still needs to go on and I need to find a way to move through this moment in a healthy way. For me, it was most definitely researching to calm my unknown anxiety and to communicate all of the intrusive thoughts in my head. For others, therapy, finding support groups, talking to a medical expert, and lastly remembering that it is a phase, but it is a big phase, a phase that needs to be dealt with so that the feeling of being spread too thin doesn't stick around solely because of this difficult moment.


Now back to whether am I currently feeling like I am spread too thin, more or less can I prove my husband wrong or do I have to give something up? For me, this spring has brought on a lot of new projects that I am VERY excited about starting. I have been longing for more responsibility than keeping two boys alive. My husband and I have always wanted to move to an area with more land, that is where we would grow a big garden and explore the idea of some kind of small farm life feel. This dream we have has been taking longer than we expected, so for me, I needed to start this dream at this house instead of waiting for the day. Hence why we currently have a chicken coop and are raising 7 chicks in our garage, and why we drove an hour away for blueberry plants. This is only one step in the project department. I am also trying to find my place in this blog world and make it profitable, so I can feel good about paying for preschool for my three-year-old next fall, teacher turn stay-at-home mom struggles. Lastly, our one-year-old recently got a g-tube (more on this in a future post) and I am extremely passionate about providing him with a well-balanced diet which takes a lot of time and space in our already cramped house. So yes. I do have a lot on my plant but does it make me feel overwhelmed and spread too thin?


Like I talked about above, for me the feeling of being spread too thin is that I have to give up part of myself or what I already have to maintain my sanity to continue the new things I have committed to. For me these new endeavors that I have started are exciting and truthfully, I feel like they add to my identity and what I want for my kids. Having chickens and a garden allows my boys to eat healthy and homegrown items that also will teach them responsibility. Giving my weekends up to prepare food, freezing the food, and then freeze drying it to preserve for months allows me a piece of mind that my son, who since recently was fed strictly off of me for the first 13-14 months of his life, gets a healthy diet that is full of fresh ingredients. Lastly, this blog gives me a new identity and not until recently did it feel worth it to continue in my busy life. These new things bring me more to who I am deep down than the person I was struggling to be the past year. So though they bring a lot of new things to my plate, I strongly believe they bring good things to it and not a sense of overwhelming spread too thin feelings.


Now do not get me wrong I have had moments of feeling spread too thin, making commitments to others and myself that were too much. I think every person let alone every mother has this feeling of being spread too thin many times throughout each new phase of life. It is important to know that this feeling of being spread too thin is normal especially when starting a new project or entering a new phase of life, but finding your balance and being able to say no to responsibilities and obligations that do not need you is the healthiest way to survive these phases. Remember to make you the best version of yourself you need to prioritize things that require your attention, things that make you feel successful, and a job that will keep you living the way you want to live. Now I did not say you need to give everyone your attention, keep all of your hobbies and extracurricular activities going, and hate every beating moment of your job. BUT you do need to prioritize people that are important to you or legally require your attention 😉. You need to prioritize things that bring you joy and identity, to keep you sane during the hard times. Lastly, you do need to be successful by maintaining a lifestyle you enjoy so find a job that allows you to live how you want to live while giving you something out of it as well. Jobs shouldn't drain your bucket every day, make sure they give you some kind of purpose and joy.



Long story short, take a moment to look at your responsibilities, make a list, determine what is important and of value to you and your family, and cross things off that don't bring you joy or success in your life, but if it does find out how to keep it in your busy life in a way that makes sense to you. That way if people tell you, "You are spread too thin." you have proof that you aren't!


Bridget Flannery

6 min read

Apr 29

24

0

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