The day after the Business Boutique conference ended last weekend, I faced a messy house, piles of dirty laundry, and the reality that my life is just not conducive to well-designed, curated Instagram posts.
Attending conferences can be inspiring and motivating, but they can also make you keenly aware of areas of improvement. I think we’ve all found ourselves at times comparing our lives to friends’ and influencers’ highlight reels. I almost started to feel like I needed to start leading a different life just so my posts could look fancier on my Instagram feed.
This is the reality that I faced this past Sunday:
My weekday mornings are spent hurriedly getting myself and my girls ready for school. I am out of the house Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM battling traffic and working at a behavioral health agency. I spend my days under fluorescent lights in an office with no windows surrounded by an uninspiring, dull shade of yellow gold paint. When I get home, it’s already time to start preparing my girls for bedtime. I’m lucky to start working on all things Bold Red Creative by 7:30. This usually means that cereal is a complete possibility for dinner if leftovers aren’t in the refrigerator from the weekend.
I don’t have time for crafting pretty flat-lays, and sharing a page from my planner would be a complete disgrace to bullet journalers everywhere! And although I admire it, I don’t do hand-lettering nor do I have the time to make every letter look fancy.
I don’t have a nice white, clean desk with a little potted succulent in the corner. At this point, I don’t even have a desk. My office is a comfortable spot in the corner of my slip-covered living room couch or at the kitchen table.
I haven’t seen the ocean in nine years. I haven’t been on vacation outside of the state of Tennessee for, well, nine years. Who knows if I’ll ever get a chance to go to Greece one day? Right now, I’ll take summers at my parents’ pool!
My car is coated in a nice layer of dirt and sap. The yellow mums on the front porch are turning brown from a lack of consistent watering. I haven’t worn my cute workout clothes lately, because exercise is last on my list right now…
The funny thing is, as I started to take pictures to document the state of my totally real and non-glamorous day-in-the-life, I realized how blessed I am despite all of the areas that I feel that I’m failing in. I may not cook a lot these days (thank you, slow cookers!), but I made chocolate chip pancakes and green smoothies after Mass. In between loads of laundry, I cuddled up with my girls and listened to them practice Christmas songs on the piano. My husband did ALL of the dishes. At the end of the day, we gathered around our fire pit in the backyard and made s’mores.
It doesn’t make sense for me to try to reflect a life of a rich twenty or thirty-something female entrepreneur with no kids and no mortgage.
That’s. not. my. life.
My life is a crazy, daily juggling act. When I lay my head on the pillow each night, I fall asleep fast because I’m working hard for my family and giving it my all. And my husband is, too. I may work too much some days and not enough other days, but that’s what it’s like to be a working mother.
It’s about the day-to-day journey.
It’s about putting love where it needs to be in that moment.
It’s about being intentional and knowing what things to let go.
It’s being okay with not being perfect.
It’s being thankful each day… dirty laundry and all.
Follow my imperfect life, business adventures, and inspirational quotes on Instagram: @stefanieshick. See you over there!