Day 1 of 30 – I compare myself to Michelle Obama

I cannot stand to have the post about my mother-in-law’s breast cancer sit at the top of this page for one more minute.  So, although it is 10 o’clock at night and I can hear my husband making the familiar sounds of getting ready for bed, I’m bound and determined to write something.

It might as well be the truth.

My friend Faiqa (and lots of other people) is currently participating in an interesting writing prompt of sorts on her blog caled “30 Days of Truth”.  For 30 days, you respond to a series of blog prompts with names like “something you love about yourself” and “something you hope you never have to do”.  I don’t know where the list is, so I’m just going to trust that Faiqa will follow through on the full 30 days so that I can get my prompts from her.

Without further delay, today’s topic:

Something You Hate About Yourself

I compare myself to Michelle Obama at least three times per week.  This may seem strange, a petite white woman comparing herself to an athletic black woman, but my inner comparisons have nothing to do with the way we look.

Instead, the loop in my head that plays over and over again is, “look at everything Michelle Obama must get done in a day.”

I don’t know why Michelle has become my mental icon of productivity.  And who did I beat myself up with before I knew about this successful mother, wife, lawyer and professor?  I can’t remember.  But I know that today it is Michelle and her initiatives and her arms that take time and work to maintain that remind me that I’m not doing enough.

But that’s not what I hate about myself.  While I admit that my obsession with Mrs. Obama is quirky, it’s not loath-worthy.

I hate that I get tired.

I take a nap at least three days a week.  At least.  And not when I’m sick or depressed, but because my mind and body seem to be easily overwhelmed.  I am constantly heading back to my office after dinner in order to make up for the afternoon hours I wasted taking a break, and I hate it.  I hate that I don’t seem to be able to accomplish as much in one day as other people.  I’m plagued with guilt about my possible laziness.

But I can’t tell you about this thing that I hate without admitting that I’m working on not hating it.

I hesitate to justify my midday breaks, but it is possible that I have a lot on my plate.  Always.  A look at my daily to-do lists doesn’t seem like cause for alarm.  ”Write UpTake posts.  Finish wedding articles.  Get printer cartridges.  Email docs to realtor.”  Four items should easily be accomplished without a break, right?

But the reality is that much of my day is spent working the shit out of my brain.  There are days when I write 2-3,000 words.  In fact, most days that’s about how much I write.  And on top of the tremendous amount of creative energy, I’m also managing the promotion and projects and details that come with: selling a house, running two websites, being a freelancer, planning a year long trip around the country, raising two kids, and being a wife.

And on some days I have to poop, too.

At the risk of having my deepest insecurities validated, I hate that I’m tired and don’t usually get it all done – but I am beginning to recognize that I may, legitimately, be a busy girl.

Of course, Michelle Obama is also busy, and you don’t hear her complaining.

And I bet you she doesn’t take naps.

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