Doing the best you can doesn't mean you're failing

Years ago, I subscribed to a magazine meant to inspire “mindful” living. It was packed with beautiful illustrations of idyllic vacation spots, healthy recipes, and yoga sequences to create lasting energy. It subtly began to evolve to the benefits of adding 15 minutes more to your morning workout; 10 foods you should eat every day; remote vacation spots you need to see before they’re gone!

Ironically, I wasn’t more inspired, I felt like I was failing. I didn’t have an extra 15 minutes- at the time I had two kids under two and just moved into a new home.

So, I cancelled the magazine, and moved on with life.

But, it’s happening again.

thrive magazineI want to be inspired by the women practicing yoga precariously balancing in the Bali infinity pools.
I want to create lavish vegan meals my family will DEVOUR!
I want to talk about my emotional explosions occurring because Mercury is in retrograde without people looking at me like I’m from Mercury.

But I’m not.

I’m a 44 year old women with two kids, cellulite on my thighs, and a dog that continually pukes on my carpet.

I vacillate between pride that my kids care about nutrition and read food labels and guilt that my 13 year old son had never tried a Jewel coffee cake before this weekend.

Seems like life is “all or nothing” again. Eat only Organic! Avoid all carbs! Sleep 7 hours EVERY night!

That doesn’t work for me.

The difference between that magazine 14 years ago and today is that I could cancel just the subscription. Today, I’d have to close my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.

We’re bombarded with the message “you should be doing better.” But what’s wrong with doing the best we can right now?

“Keep Calm and Carry…” seems to have been replaced with

“you weren’t meant to pay bills and die.”

Well, yes. But what about the single mom working her ass off to keep food on the table and a roof over their head?
What about the parents foregoing their dream of celebrating 25 years in Hawaii, so they can pay for their special needs child’s therapy…or Epipens for gods sake?

Those bills are part of life. Last I checked, nobody was picking up the tab for me to practice yoga precariously balancing in the Bali infinity pools (though if someone would like to, you’re welcome to message me!).

I won’t accept guilt that exercise has to be an hour when I only have five minutes…or tell me I can’t count walking the dog as that day’s workout. Why can’t I just applaud the woman I see running (rain or shine) pushing her double stroller without thinking, my workout wasn’t enough?

Maybe, today, carryout dinners are all that work. Are there healthier options, sure. But TODAY this is what works, tomorrow may look much different.

That’s not failing. That’s moderation. That’s balance. That’s life.

canine peace of mindI view healthy living as a set of stairs. Each step is merely part of a path toward well-being. We don’t ever actually arrive at the top and say “I’m here! I win! I’m the healthiest!”

Because that’s when life will chutes & ladders your ass back to the first step.

One day- when this book of mine is finished- you’ll have an inspired guide for where you are TODAY, with  a little hint of a healthier tomorrow for when you’re ready (though you’ll love my Real Health for Real Life group!).

I’m planning on writing the next chapter today, but I’m feeling a little weepy that my kids are growing up so fast.

Maybe it’s pre-menopause.
Maybe it’s because mercury is in retrograde.

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Need more suggestions? Here are my 5 favorite books of 2015

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