I’m what my mom calls a “Do-Bee” – since I was a little kid, I was a helper, pitching in, taking the lead on school projects and the like. Back in the day, when I used to work in the office, I was a pretty involved employee – I volunteered for party-planning, task forces, charitable give-backs and the whole thing. Now I’m so far removed from a daily office routine that I usually go in on a Sunday so I don’t bogart the copy machine. It’s not so much that I miss the specific activities, but I now have to find other ways to expend my Do-Bee energy. Last year this looked like me being a homeroom parent for Kindergarten (talk about demanding!), summer camp researcher and family reunion organizer. This year it’s more like the outdoor classroom’s pond committee chair, hockey mom and retirement party organizer. All this activity should make me feel good, connected to the community and fulfilled, right? What I really feel is just plain tired.
How do I stop the Do-Bee cycle? Why am I compelled to volunteer, to help, to be involved, to do more? The thing is that if I’m not doing, I feel anxious, like I should be doing something (yes, please feel free to send me your therapist recommendations.), but when I am engaged in all these activities, I feel like I’m doing nothing well. Luckily, a friend recently posted an article on Facebook ( I definitely do NOT have time for Facebook, but this was worth it…) that spoke about women needing to cut themselves a break on how they’re living their lives – constantly worried about whether or not we’re making the right choices and if we’re doing enough and doing it well. It made me think in a new way about all the things I do – family, work, my Do-Bee activities – and I realized that I’m doing okay. I have my bad days, but generally, I can keep it all together and be a pretty good wife, mother, friend, worker, scheduler, planner and participant. Sure, I’m tired, but if I take a little pressure off myself, I realize that I’m pretty happy, too. That’s okay – not perfect, but pretty cool.
– Libby Bingham