My roommate has this coffee mug that I borrow sometimes when I am really feeling pushed toward inadequacy. When I’m stressed and I know there’s too much on my plate and there’s absolutely no way I can handle it all and so why am I sitting here on my butt drinking coffee, I’ve gotta get going!
When I feel like that, I use this mug. It has this quote on it from my favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt:
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have!”
This quote is what I need today. I need this mug, today, to remind me to be PRESENT.
To do what I can, where I am, with what I have. This reminds me that my current state, in this very moment on this morning, is enough. In my present state, I am able to handle the task at hand. I am good enough, smart enough.
This quote reminds me to shed off pretenses of perfectionism, desires of perfectionism. This quote lets me let go of I want it all, I want it all, I want it all. This quote lets me breathe at the beginning of the day, that today will be good… and it lets me exhale at the end of the day, reminding me that my best that I gave this day is good enough.
What you can
So often, I long to do more than I can possibly do. I can look at everything before me, and in my future, invincible self, I believe I can do it all. And kick butt while doing it. But what this does is rob me of the joy of the present. I spin my wheels trying to be perfect, trying to do everything that everyone has asked of me. I jump into projects and tasks without asking the appropriate questions. Eventually I am rushing and rushing to try to get everything done before deadlines that have either been given me, or more likely, I’ve placed on myself… and I start making errors and things are dropping and falling and I’m left disappointed in myself because I couldn’t do it, all, again.
Where you are
And then there’s this idea of being anywhere but where I am currently. I moved recently (eight months ago, so not that recently), and it’s not that I miss my past home in North Carolina so much that I long to go back. Or that I miss my hometown of Virginia Beach so much that the nostalgia is like gravity pulling me back. It’s just that, well, where I am now is not really where I thought I’d be. So, frankly, I’d like to be anywhere but here. This place doesn’t have local coffee shops, there’s too much traffic, it’s freaking NOVA for crying out loud. (Anyone from Virginia Beach would understand). I could go on. But when I start focusing on everywhere that I’m not, I miss out on enjoying where I actually am. I miss the job that is a blessing from God in this season, and the incredible house and roommate I get right here, right now.
With what you have
I always feel like I have so little. And part of me thinks that in the future, when I have more money, more time under my belt, more experience, know-how, I will be able to do this better. I will be able to do more better. I will be more. Or I will be better. And because I’m not there, yet, I start feeling disappointed in myself.
Or, I look at the resources I don’t have. I can’t join the state of the art gym cause I don't have the money. Or I can’t give as much as I want to because of my budget. Or I am stuck doing all the work myself because right now we just can’t hire any more employees.
This mug, this quote, helps me live PRESENT. It helps me let go of the expectations of myself… that I have for this day, this week, this year. It doesn’t negate my goals or my ideas. But it helps remind me, that today is enough. That what I’ve been given, where I am, and what I have… can do a lot.