What Happens When Super Heroes Get Sick & Resolutions Go Out The Window
I humbly believe all parents are superheroes. They’re constantly trying to perfect their personas for work life (if you work), family life (I scroll Facebook boards endlessly trying to solve my latest kid dilemma), and personal life (a bucket where time is absolutely minimized once kids come along).
These personas get particularly scrutinized at the start of a new year - “what can I do differently in each of these areas to be my best self?!”
While nothing fancy, I personally did some goal-setting for each of these worlds at the end of 2018.
For work, I was inspired by a webinar I listened to the Friday before going on a two-week hiatus: “Elevate the Quality of your Work Performance.” It provided great advice on how to turn your work relationships and be a better version of yourself by the way you dressed, interacted with colleagues, and provided counsel to clients. I was sold. That was so going to be who I was when I got back from break.
For family life, I have a constant goal of being more present with my kids and not sweating the small stuff (they’re always going to drive me crazy, but only a short while at these ages). 2019 was when I was going to really concentrate on this.
My 5-year-old, in particular, is at a point where his memories are sticking. I want him to remember me as the mom who was engaging, introduced him to new experiences that will help him find himself, and of course fun, up for anything, and not throwing him in front of the TV 24/7 because it’s easiest.
For my 2-year-old, I just wanted to find a way to speak the same language. In his current phase, the only ways I’m able to quickly get him to do what I want (multiple tantrums along the way) is if it incorporates a bribe, a threat, or a bribe to his oldest brother to get him to play ball. In 2019, I wanted to find more time to connect with him one-on-one so it didn’t always have to feel like I was asking him to run outside naked in the snow (when merely I’m just trying to get him out of his crib).
For my personal life, it was going to be all about consistent physical fitness (I was going to work out four times a week after joining a gym) get in more date nights with the hubby, and spend more time with girlfriends locally and those who live afar (this is the year we’d get a post-kids girlfriend trip on the books!).
With my goals internally set, I was ready to take on the first week back to work in 2019 with gusto! Well.. after the first one of course. The first Monday back after a two-week hiatus is beyond brutal. But from there, I was on fire. I shared new ideas in meetings at work and even nailed a new biz preso after stumbling in the rehearsal.
As far as my personal goals, I made it to the gym four times the first week and even got in a date night with my hubs. I also managed to rock it in the mom department taking the 5-year-old ice skating for the first time (we were both terrified holding on to the railing the whole time, but loved every minute), and also got some one-on-one quality time in with the 2-year-old where few meltdowns transpired.
2019 was on fire!
That was until Monday afternoon the second week back to work when I seriously felt my body crash. I had a wave of aches, shakes, congestion and muted energy all at once. I was coming down with something that wasn’t going to be fun.
And immediately self-doubt transpired. “Omg did I really think I could keep up my best self in 2019 at work, home and in my personal life beyond week one?” 80 percent of people drop their resolutions by February and this was only week two!
So to take a step back I can’t truly say if it was my overdoing it that led to the sickness or just picking up a random bug, but needless to say, all of my refined personas were put on pause as I worked to get better.
I was half-in and half-out at work and getting what I could get done working from home. My 2-year-old who also caught a tummy bug was forced in front of the TV all day as I had my husband help hold down the fort. And yeah working out absolutely didn’t happen and I even had to cancel a girls dinner.
But in the midst of this foggy sickness, I did experience a bright spot that gave me hope that I might be able to get back on track after falling off course week two.
This hit me after I came downstairs one day that I was working from home after my 2-year-old had been in front of the TV all day and asked for a snack. We shared this incredible moment where we talked about our favorite snacks. At the moment, his is Wheaties and I told him mine was cashews. He told me one day he’d love to eat his snack while riding a baby giraffe (a giraffe had just appeared on TV). It was the simplest thing, but just having this small interaction where I felt we were bonding meant everything.
It suddenly hit me that while all goals might not happen in tandem each week, but as long as they’re top of mind and I succeed at just one of them, I’m doing something ok.