My mind is a swirl with a few different projects, and figuring out why there are never enough hours in the day. But mostly, I’m thrilled to be heading to our house in upstate NY tomorrow morning. Cutting the work week short by two days has added a little stress to my week, but the payoff is walking into my house, the feeling of my arrival like that of a comfy sweater being draped over my shoulders.
Something I’m especially thankful for this week is that I’ve managed to really focus on my time with the kids when they get home from school. The urge to jump back onto the computer is strong. I felt something happening, though, a shift, and the need for me to just be in the moment with them for those hours after school pulled me this week. I just shelve everything until after they go to bed. Around 9:30pm is when I decide to either jump online for round three of work, or just set the alarm for an unholy hour the next morning.
As I write, I’m reminded of Mindy Kaling’s book, Why Not Me?. I just finished reading it last night. I needed to unwind, even though I tucked in way too late. The book ends with her thoughts on where confidence comes from. While I agree with her mostly that the fruits of our efforts are what produce success, something was amiss for me in her otherwise thoughtful words. I do agree that there’s an entire generation of people who don’t get success has to be earned, not simply given. Kaling connected hard work with confidence, and suggested that confidence stems from feeling entitled. Not a bad thing for her, and I understood where she was going with this notion, but something fell short for me as I read her words.
Perhaps it’s my viewpoint as a mother, with more than just my own needs and confidence to manage. Surely, being single, and childless allows you to actualize your determination and hard work faster. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s just the truth of the situation. You can be more singularly focused. I know. I was once in that place, though it feels so long ago.
Kaling defends being a workaholic as a necessity to earn the feeling of entitlement, which therein rewards you with confidence. But, I think this is really short sighted. There’s much more involved in having confidence than just attaching it to what you do professionally. I worry often where I will be in 10 years, once the girls are grown, beginning the solo journeys of their lives. I know this is the time to invest in myself, push myself, even if that means some days my head wants to stay glued to the pillow because it just touched it a few hours before.
But, I also know that, for me at least, I want to feel confident in who I am as a mother, a friend, and as myself. That means pressing pause at intervals to spend time with my daughters, turning in early to curl up with a book and get a good night’s rest, and skipping work at 5:30am so I can do my strength training and meditation.
Perhaps I am a workaholic, but it’s not just solely channeled into my career—it’s about being the kind of human being I want to be; therein lies the power of my confidence. And that is a constant work in progress.