Woman at sunset with head bowed in prayer or meditation

It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to want to give up. I’m so tired right now. I’m exhausted, burning the candle at both ends. I’m ready to say “it’s not worth all this work. It’s not worth fighting for my own dreams.” But then I remember a promise I made to myself- I want to help others. I have this deep seated desire that I didn’t even know was there for so long. 

What happens when you’re tired and ready to give up? What do you do? 

I eat, sugar specifically, and read romance novels because I can escape. Soon the sugar crash happens and I realize how much time I’ve wasted reading useless trash. 

Now I’m spiraling into a depression. When depressed, I may have days, even weeks, of minimum productivity. Just enough to keep my job or have a relatively clean house and clothes. It always feels like I’m walking through a clouded haze until I realize that I’m depressed. 

Once I identify the depression I can pull myself out of it. I can do what is needed to climb out of the pit of despair. Climbing out is hard and I get very, very tired. 

Especially since I have no upper body strength. 

Woman at sunset with head bowed in prayer or mediation

But seriously, what can we do with this exhaustion? We seem to have a hard time allowing ourselves to be tired and worn out. Why is that? We think that society is pushing us to do more, be more all the time. 

We look at previous generations and say, “why didn’t they have these same issues? They did it all and weren’t tired or beaten down.” But, did they? Did they really do it all? And were they truly not tired or worn out sometimes? 

I believe earlier generations did get tired and worn down but they also didn’t “do it all” anymore than we do now. Women had been largely relegated to the home in previous generations. My mother’s generation broke out of that mold, but many of those women were still housewives with no career. 

Back in the day, when we were largely an agrarian society, partners were essential to the running of the farm. A man couldn’t run a farm on his own because he couldn’t care for all the animals, crops, vegetable garden, house and children by himself. There was just too much to do. Likewise, a woman would not be able to run a farm on her own for the same reasons. As such, basic needs dictated the roles we have today. Women caring for the children and homekeeping more than men. 

But we no longer live in an agrarian society. The farmers we do have are able to produce more goods more efficiently than ever in history. More families live in suburban and urban areas now. And it’s possible to do the work by yourself, or at least, hire it out.

You don’t need a vegetable garden, you have a supermarket. You can hire a maid to clean your house or someone to mow your lawn and trim your shrubs. You can get a nanny and not have to miss more work than absolutely necessary because of a child’s needs. 

After trying to do it all by ourselves and hold it together emotionally because we gotta be strong…we just run out of energy. We are exhausted by all the pressures we have in our own world. 

Do you allow yourself to let some things go? I’m guessing the exhaustion you are currently experiencing signals that you rarely let anything go on purpose. What is the worst thing that can happen if your kid eats cereal for dinner? My kids had that plenty of times. Heck, I love cereal! 

I tried for so many years to “do it all” and never, ever accomplished it. I always felt inadequate because there would be someone else I could point to and say “she’s doing it”. But, if we were to have that honest conversation with each other, would we find that to be true? Is the other woman whom you admire actually doing it all or is she looking at you and thinking, “I wish I could do it all just like she does”? 

Give yourself a break. Allow yourself to let things go if it’s not earth shattering or life changing to you or your teen. Remember they can be a bit dramatic. 

Take a mental health day. Use that day to just lie in a grassy field with the warm autumn sun shining down on you. Breathe in the smell of the grass and sunshine. If you’re near a beach, a park or forest you can do this. Find a place to sit where you are comfortable, take a moment to  deeply breathe in and out a few times. Then close your eyes and breathe in fully, noticing the scents on the air- the salty tang at the beach or the damp dirt and leaves of the forest. 

And then, when you are ready, rise. Like the Phoenix from the ashes. And take your first step towards becoming the woman you are intended to be. 

And so, I rise.