Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Being an Over-Acheiver is Overrated

Taking Flight

"Taking Flight" - 30x24" - oil on linen (2022) by Anna Rose Bain

In these past ten weeks since Christmas, I have completed seven paintings… almost eight.

That's a lot. And they weren't just average paintings. I really needed for them to be great paintings (whether they are or not is certainly up for debate).

When people ask, “How do you do it all?,” my acheiver personlity kicks in and I might be tempted to say, “Oh, you know I love my job! Work is easy when you love it.” And that may be true, but it isn’t the whole truth.

To be honest, I have been stressed out of my mind. I’m frustrated with my work. I don’t even want to go back into my studio after spending so many hours in there lately (it's also cold... so my little space heater and the UGGs my sister gave me have been lifesavers :-)).

Last week there were three days when I needed to take naps and I mean… I crashed HARD.

In the midst of all my “achieving”, I’ve been dealing with:

  • A toddler who is having behavioral issues at school and home. 
  • A husband who is also very busy and stressed right now
  • Hosting family over New Year’s. 
  • Finishing several commissioned paintings
  • Cooking all our meals because I have developed so many food sensitivities.
  • Trying to get to the gym almost every day. 
  • Celebrating my birthday with my twin sister (and feeling guilty for taking a day off). 
  • Cleaning up countless piles of puppy messes, doing countless loads of laundry, negotiating with kids over food they refuse to eat and naps they refuse to take…
  • Side projects like video and photography for my gym (okay this is just fun, but it's also time consuming).

Yes, we got a puppy! She is a black and white English Springer Spaniel--currently about 15 weeks old and a major handful--but she has been a fun addition to our family. I love this photo I was able to capture of her with my son Everett.

I did cut out some things from my schedule in order to make more time for my husband and kids especially during evenings and weekends. I have stopped regularly attending my weekly painting group. This has been a hard sacrifice for me, as I can usually justify everything I do because they are all good and wholesome things. 

But sometimes it’s all just too much. Sometimes no matter how busy you are you just need to take a long walk in the sunshine. Sometimes you need to sit down on the couch and snuggle with your toddler while they watch Elmo. Sometimes you just need to listen attentively to your daughter and entertain her long monologues about all the dreams she had the night before or how silly the boys in her class are. Sometimes you just need to call a friend or your parents or a sibling and catch up no matter how inconvenient the timing is. And sometimes, no matter how good you are at “doing it all”, you have to admit that maybe you’ve bit off more than you can chew, and apologize to the ones you love who’ve had to suffer as you attempted to climb a mountain that was maybe just a little too high. That’s what the last 10 weeks have been for me.

All that to say… 

If it looks like someone you follow on social media “has it all together”… guess what? They don’t! And that’s ok. Because each of us only has 24 hours in the day and it’s the quality that matters, not quantity. 

"Fuschia and Pale Roses" - 9x12" - oil on linen mounted aluminum (2022)


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