I don't know HOW you do it!
This is literally, without a doubt, my least favorite series of words.
"How many goats do you have? I don't know how you do it!"
(I have the number of goats that I have)
"When do you get up? I don't know how you do it!"
(Not as early as you think.)
"I don't know how you keep up with it all!"
(I don't. I just don't do some stuff, like put away laundry.)
And the dreaded "I don't know how you WORK full-time."
(Are you offering to support me?)
Why don't they just say it? "I don't know WHY you do it."
I should be fair. Some people mean it as a compliment. They mean I wish I could do as much as you do. They mean give me your energy, your drive, your secret. But most people, most people mean I don't know why you do it. What I want to say is "Oh, I wasn't aware NOT doing it was an option."
So here's why. It's very simple. There is no secret. The best parts of life are the simplest parts of life. Kids, fresh milk, chocolate cake, moon light, a walk in the woods, holding hands, listening to the rain. A sunny day, the silence of a snow storm, cheese, handmade furniture, your grandmother's apron, clean sheets. A board game, a cup of tea, the smell of books, the crackle of a camp fire, fresh bread. Goats. Duh. Good wine. Uh, duh again.
I work with technology. I love technology and the way it can enhance our lives, save time, and make us safer. I am not going to move into the wilderness, give up Netflix, and make moonshine. Well, not yet anyway. 😉 Sometimes I struggle with the mix of the two sides of my life. How do they fit together? The juxtaposition is extreme. A few years ago I was sitting in a meeting discussing artificial intelligence and the possibility that it would eliminate jobs in our field. Someone said "Maybe, but we always find better more interesting work. I mean, we aren't all growing our own food anymore!" There could have been charges pressed if I had acted on the thoughts that entered my head in the following minutes but fortunately I remembered I have three kids and a mortgage.
I also work with marketing. And ohhhhhh have we been marketed to! It's not even as extreme at the lavish vacations and red bottom shoes all over Instagram. It's planned suburban developments, walk in closets, cubicles, 900 calorie salads, strollers that cost more than a month's worth of groceries from Whole Foods, and unicorn frappiccinos. I know, that last one hurt.
People are hunters, gathers, builders, inventors, farmers, DOERS and CREATORS. We were not meant to live in a box! I mean, we need pedometers because we sit so dang much now! We all have high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and 20 extra pounds because we are living in boxes both physically and mentally.
So that's why I do it. I do it because I have to live within the world as it is but in a way that allows me to be a doer and creator, not a reactor. I raise goats for milk and snuggles. I harvest my own meat, make my own stock, and struggle to build anything that needs to be square. I take my kids to dance, soccer, and tennis. I will help with homework, make goodie bags, and cheer from the sidelines. I help my husband make YouTube videos and attempt to put my thoughts into words here. I work FULL TIME and I love it.
I struggle at times, many times. I forget to fill things out for school (seriously, the elementary school hates me), I spill milk that took me 30 minutes to get, and I put the wrong dance shoes in the dance bag. But I don't wonder why I do it. I don't think about not doing all the things, I think about getting better and faster. I think about doing more and being more. So I guess there is the secret after all - there is no option NOT to do it.