I’m always preaching that we should do our best, and I try and live by this every day. But it can be hard for driven types like me to accept that some days our best isn’t the best. It’s just good. Mediocre even. But I’ve learned that’s ok, and I want you to also.
I used to think that doing my best required me kicking proverbial ass with everything I did. Take workouts, for example, when the instructor would offer options one, two and three (three being the most challenging), I would automatically go for the third option every time because that’s me doing my best, right?
Let me tell you, the wisdom that comes with age, and my Epstein Barr Virus flare-ups have given me a new appreciation for what my body is telling me. Now when I’m in my power yoga class doing side plank crunches and remember I have the option to modify by keeping one knee down, I'll sometimes put that damn knee down. And instead of beating myself up because it’s not the most rigorous version of the exercise, I instead accept that it’s my best on that day, and focus on my form, my breathing, and the gratitude I feel because I showed up to do something great for my mind and body.
I am committed to eating healthy, not just because I know from my naturopathic doctor (my hubby) and my own research what humans need, but also because my health history demands it. There are some days when a crazy schedule, an empty fridge, or a lack of options at a restaurant means that I’m not going to eat the best I possibly could. I don’t catastrophize and throw in the towel because I’ve blown it (c’mon, haven’t we all done that?). I give myself a break and recognize that on that day, at that moment, I’m doing my best.
Take this blog post: I know it’s not the best thing I’ve ever written. But that nasty upper respiratory bug has turned into pneumonia for 3 of the 4 Neustadts. Nate seemingly outgrew all his clothes overnight, requiring an impromptu shopping trip. And Bebe needed to hear (for the hundredth time, mind you) that she’s not only not getting a phone any time soon, but when she does it’s not going to include social media. My writing time has been annihilated, and since sitting down at my laptop, I’ve felt scattered and stressed. So this isn’t the best blog post I’ve ever written. But it’s the best I can do today. And it all worked out just the way it should have because you and I needed this reminder.
So the next time that little voice in your head starts criticizing you because whatever you’re doing isn’t gold-medal worthy, tell it to shut it. And then turn to the voice that really matters—your Heart Voice—and ask yourself if you’re doing the best you can do right now. If the answer is Yes, give yourself major props and a lot of love because that’s all we can ever ask of ourselves.