Last Friday morning, I was racing around town like a chicken without a head—trying to shop for a friend’s birthday present, grab a cup of tea, and fill my car up with gas. All before a 9 a.m. meeting at work.
I timed my errands perfectly, so that I’d arrive at the gift shop when the doors opened at 8:30 a.m. Blowing through the store like a tornado, I picked out a cute present, an acceptable card (why are they all so cheesy?!), a balloon, and I raced to the register.
As I was checking out, I had an interesting exchange with the cashier.
Cashier: Thanks for coming in. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Me: Well, I know I’m going to be a good friend today (with this gift), so at least there’s that.
Cashier: Honey, I’m sure you’re so much more than that.
Her comment stopped me in my frenzied tracks. While I was proud that I could find a gift store open at 8:30 a.m. to help demonstrate my love and affection for a dear friend, the cashier was right: I’m more than a friend.
I am also a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. I’m a scatterbrain who has a hard time remembering details. I’m a sucker for letting my children inhale jars of Nutella.
You, too, are so much bigger than the roles you play in your life. It’s easy to say this, but even easier to forget.
As women, we put so much into our individual roles that it’s common for us to see ourselves “only” as that role. It tends to show up like this thought: “I’ve got to get this birthday present in time, or I’m going to look like a horrible friend!” Or sound something like: “Ugh, I wonder what the other mothers at my son’s school are going to say when I have to skip field day for a work trip?”
The truth is, it’s okay if I can’t make every school function, because I’m so much more than a mother.
I’m the sum of my parts, and there are a lot of them.
If you’re as busy as the moms I know, it’s easy to narrow the focus of your time, energy, and effort to the duty or task that’s in front of you. It’s easy to worry that if you make a mistake, you’ll look like you’re doing a bad job.
Perhaps the next time you do something well or wrong, you can remind yourself that you need to embrace your whole self by saying, “I’m so much more than this.”
When you forget to send your son’s lunch to school with him? “I’m so much more than this.” When you choose to ignore the five-foot tall pile of dirty laundry in the corner? “I’m so much more than this.” When you get a big promotion at work and are tempted to give 100% to prove you deserve it?, “I’m so much more than this.”
You’re more than your milestones and definitely more than your mistakes. The principle behind this mantra is why I love wearing this Lokai Bracelet.
The white bead is said to carry water from Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, and reminds you to stay humble when you’re on top of the world. The black bead holds mud from The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, and reminds you to stay hopeful when you’re low.
I’ve worn this bracelet for years, but it wasn’t until a friendly cashier inspired a mantra that it made sense.
I’m more than my success, mistakes, good days and bad.
And so, my dear, are you.