Have you ever had a day where something chaotic can happen and it doesn’t faze you? Then another day the exact same thing can happen, and it totally upends your whole day? It drives me crazy when that happens.
I should be able to respond the same way across the board. I should be able to do all the things on my to-do list regardless of what else is happening in my life. I should be able to feel like I have things under control.
I should, I should, I should… but I can’t.
You know why? That’s because of your capacity.
Capacity is how much we can handle. Think of a cup. Have you ever poured liquid in a glass to the brim and need to sip it off the top to make sure it wouldn’t spill over? Or that final sip in the cup… the one that almost no one else can see, but you know is there. Sometimes there is a lot of extra space in the glass. And sometimes we are filled to the very brim that we can’t even pick it up or everything will slosh over the sides.
Some days we can handle a lot that life throws at us. Other days, one small thing can cause everything to overflow. Each day we start with our glass full at different levels. So, the amount of water we can take on varies day by day.
However, we act like we should have the same capacity all the time. We expect it to be consistent. As though the glass should always have the same amount of fullness, regardless of whether we are filling it up or pouring it out. And we can get easily frustrated with ourselves when that changes.
But that is not realistic. Life and circumstances change. When you’re sick, you don’t have the same capacity out of exhaustion. When you have a newborn, the number of extra projects you can take on is greatly reduced because you’re using your energy other places. When you start a new job, your capacity is limited because you’re spending all your focus on learning new routines rather than working out of habit.
On the days you have more capacity, do hard things. On the days you don’t have the same capacity, be understanding of yourself and do something that will fill your soul back up.
Honor your limits. It's a way to show yourself love.
Different seasons have different capacities. Be gentle with yourself. We need to be mindful and kind to our soul about this. Some seasons I can do everything. Some seasons I cannot. Figure out what season you are in. Be realistic to your capacity. And extend yourself grace. You deserve it.