A few weeks ago, my friend sent me this meme. I shared it last week and it’s taken over my social media.
In 24 hours, I had a few dozen new followers and the post had a few hundred shares. One week later, I had thousands of new followers and 30,000 shares. It has been a wild ride, and I am surprised by how far it has reached.
In social media terms, I’m VERY SMALL POTATOES. That’s okay with me. I like interacting with the folks who are connecting to the heart of what I write about, and that can get a little tough when a thread has over 2,ooo comments. But that cute little meme (from this etsy shop in the UK) revealed a few things about women that we need to take seriously.
Women are capable. Um, hello. Have you ever met a woman? We’ve got this, even when we shouldn’t.
Women are bold. Minus the imposter syndrome that we just can’t shake, women are speaking out and emerging from the shadows in record numbers. The future is female, with a much-needed spotlight on black women.
But good gravy, We Are TIRED. You’re a woman. You know this.
The amount of mental/emotional/invisible labor that we carry out every day, in addition to kids and regular work and the actual visible labor of existing, takes a toll. Many of us are chronically exhausted, and for good reason. We work hard. We are problem solvers, not fixers. We automatically pick up the slack where men have abdicated responsibility. We often put other people’s needs and success ahead of our own. We are committed to the greater good, even though it might cost us personally.
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Our problem is no longer about belief in ourselves. We now believe what we’ve always known: We are made of steel and we are logistical masters. The problem is that we take on too much. We say yes because someone has to do it, and that someone is us. Seriously. No victimization here, just acknowledgment. We are exhausted because we are perpetually overworked and we don’t know how to stop over-functioning without life altering fallout.
What my little unicorn facebook post also tells me is we need to give ourselves permission to not do it all, even though there might be fallout. We can take a break. We can release the pressure valve on our lives in small ways that make a big difference. We can provide store bought cupcakes for the party and let our kids eat cereal for supper and maybe not take up every single cause because WE HAVE LIMITS AND THAT’S OK.
Those limits serve a purpose. Those limits are there to tell you to slow down.
Take care of yourself.
Ask for specific help.
Nurture your own, vitally important life.
Say no to people.
Say yes to yourself.
Find your laughter again and fall into it.
Grant yourself permission to not get it all done.
Eat the cereal.
Thank you for giving so much of yourselves each day. From one badass woman to another, I see you.
I see what you do and the way you do it, and I am in awe of you.
The way you manage things.
The way you fall apart.
The way you put yourself back together again.
The way you rise in your brokenness and exhaustion.
The way you keep getting better.
The way you commit to caring for yourself.
Thank you for being here and showing up to this wild life every damn day. You matter. Your life is important, even if you never do another thing for another person.
You always have a seat at this table, exactly as you are.