Admit to Your Limitations

You have limits. Budgets. Sensitivities. Health stuff. Emotional wounds. Kids, parents, families. Only so many hours in a day.

When you honour your limits—rather than acting like they don’t exist—you decrease the stress that is sure to creep in when your goals start to test your reality.

- Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

Admitting to my limitations is one of the hardest things for me to do, and I am tested on a daily basis. It's easy to read others' magna opera and feel inferior, like I'm not doing enough, like I need to push myself and expand myself and get out of my head and my home.

Each and every day, as I sit in a chair that I've had since I was 14 years old and that does not fit my decor anymore, I think about ways to improve, to develop, to grow. And as soon as I hit upon something amazing, as soon as I place my fingers on the keyboard, one of my children comes up to me and interrupts my train of thought.

I have limitations. I have a husband with a standard office job that offers X number of vacation days a year, most of which we need to use for sick days, seeing family, or trading childcare responsibilities with me. I have three children who are in school, who have extracurricular activities, who inconveniently get sick for weeks on end and never at the same time. We have a limited stream of income, more than half of which goes toward the basic necessities of life.

Acknowledging these, I know that I can't travel as much as I want to. I can't take off and go to the World Domination Summit or to the IFWTWA Annual Conference. I can't completely redecorate my living room next month. I can't take on a full-time job.

Admitting to and accepting your limitations, though,  is less about "I can't" than it is about that trade-off. I could travel widely and often, attending every seminar and summit that crosses my path, but I would likely end up divorced, broke, and with limited visitation rights. I could redecorate my living room in its entirety next month, but we would probably be on Ramen noodles and have zero extracurriculars or entertainment. I could take on a full-time job, but our house would remain in its not-quite-moved-in state (which is driving me up the wall, by the way), a nanny or daycare would raise my children, and we would be pushed into a higher tax bracket that would, in the end, significantly affect our disposable income. And I'm not willing to make those trades; they're not worth it to me.

So it is with a sometimes-heavy heart that I accept my limitations, that I rely on Disney cartoons in the mornings, that I continue to sit in the now-ugly papasan chair, that I take a few hours every other week to volunteer at my child's co-op. Accepting these as part of my life allows me to write a little in the mornings and hold down a part-time job that I adore, to put my kids in gymnastics with their friends, and to invest our money for the future. We do have to defer some of our high-flying life plans, but at least we know that we're consciously making choices that work for us now.

And we still travel as often as possible, if not as widely as we used to.

This post was originally published on lynndaue.wordpress.com. It was lightly edited on January 19, 2016.