Ask Annah: How Do You Do It All?

Annah ElizabethAsk Annah, Loss, Grief, and Healing, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

Dearest Neighbor,

Social Media Highlight Reels.

Glitz. Glamour. Got-it-all-together goodness.

Do these qualities exist?


Do they exist all the time? For anyone?

Not on your life.

Comparison is one of our greatest life hurdles, which affords it a front row seat in The Five Facets Philosophy on Healing programs.

This question came to me leading up to the holiday season and as I reflected on it for you, I couldn’t help but notice all of the perfect pictures making headlines across all social media story lines.

Talk about social envy, I thought as I stared one night at my own living room, its many surfaces littered with wrapping paper, bows, bags, tags, the gifts waiting to be adorned, as well as a cleaning cloth and a bottle of Pledge.

“How do you do it all?” you asked.

Good question! It’s a question we’ve all asked at some time in our life. Heck, most of us have asked that about ourselves.

We reflect back on busy or chaotic life situations and we ask, How did I do all of that?

How did I work and serve and take care of my family and run a household and sit on the PTA and make those crafty and cute things for all those classroom parties?

How did I manage to live each day and to juggle…the business…the travel…

How did I manage my aging parents…my children’s activities…the divorce…my child’s death…my depression…my illness…my accident…my finances…my sanity…

How did I manage my life loss events, my grief, and my healing in the midst of all that living?

You know that old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” But what about those times when you don’t feel tough, when you can’t see the the tree for all the clutter?

I say, “When the going gets tough, we do what we have to do to get through the best way we know how.”

I’d like to share a little story.

My oldest living son, Fave, was once interviewed for a television show. The producers wanted to see an Olympic hopeful’s natural environment, the family, the equipment, and because nutrition is so important for an elite athlete, they wanted to film us during dinner.

As these things go, the show gave us only a few days notice. When the staff member insisted the segment be filmed at our house, I had one major concern: we were doing major renovations in the downstairs living area and every room was empty except one. Every stick of furniture had been stacked floor-to-ceiling in our kitchen. Our meals were eaten at the island bar and any filming would be pointing right at the mountain of dust laden mess.

The assistant’s comment has stuck with me for years, Neighbor: “No worries, you won’t believe what we can film around; nobody will know but you.”

I’ve since adopted this mantra: “If you’re coming to see me, my door is always open. If you’re coming to see my house, make an appointment.”

And I mean it.

Warren and I run five small businesses and our children have always been active, which means our home has a definite lived-in quality. I love entertaining but I had to either give up my white glove or my love for that social connection.

Coming back to the night I sat looking beyond the baubles and bags to admire my tree, I angled my camera above and around the clutter before clicking the button and uploading my sparkly pic to my Instagram story feed for you to see.

A swath of uncluttered space comprised the trail leading past the tree to the kitchen and another leading to the foyer and our front door. “My living room looks like Christmas threw up in it,” I wrote in one of my posts.

Even after the packages were wrapped and the totes put away, an unused broom and a basket of fresh laundry sat unattended for two weeks.

Thanks to technology, you don’t have to take my word for it; feast your eyes upon a glimpse of the truth behind my highlight reel.

How do you do it all? I pondered your question.

[Tweet theme=”basic-white”]Some people tell you they are good and glamorous, some people show you their sparkle, while others simply know how to filter out what they don’t want you to see.[/Tweet]

And some of us are willing to share our strategies and secrets…

What’s your style or standard operating procedure, Neighbor? Share a little something about yourself in a comment below!

I LOVE answering your queries! As the saying goes, The only stupid question is the one not asked. Let us know your burning, nagging or curious thoughts! You can leave your question in the comments or email it to us. All questions are considered anonymous.

Until next time, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

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