I Cannot Do All the Things

I cannot do all the things.

This isn’t the first time I’ve said this – I say it to myself all the time. And even more than that, my friends and family so sweetly remind me of this truth when I’m caught in my head.

I’ve heard it a million times. But it always sneaks back up – that lie at the back of my head that says I can do it all, be it all, have it all.

At the beginning of this week I got really sick. Apparently some kind of horrendous stomach bug is going around and my weak immune system was all “pick me!” But really, I spent the majority of the week in bed and the rest of it recovering. This was not what I planned. I had posts to write, photos to take, emails to send, camping trips to go on, meals to make, laundry to fold, and a social life to maintain. But there I was with barely enough energy to make the trip from the bathroom to my bedroom.

On top of all the day-to-day things I do, we’ve been thinking and working on Oak + Oats behind the scenes too. I was going to keep trying to do all the things but after a week of being sick and “falling behind more” I think it is best to admit it to myself and step back from some things for awhile.

Because what I realized as I agonized not only in sickness but in guilt as I binged watched Once Upon a Time and prayed I wouldn’t throw up again, is that often the deadlines and expectations for Oak + Oats are imposed by me. I can move the deadlines – I am the one who set them. I can change the expectations – I’m the one who set them up. There are so many “shoulds” in blogging & business that I just pile them all onto my list. But not every should is a should for me. Two years ago I wrote something about this too.

If you need the freedom to take a couple “shoulds” off your list or move a self imposed deadline or adjust set expectations, here it is. We all need to do this sometimes. We cannot always do all the things. And when you are lying in bed sick (which hopefully you are not but if you are) I hope you let yourself rest & heal and not give into guilt.

All this to say, I’ll be stepping back from some things but still around. Thanks for your understanding and grace. This community means so much too me and I couldn’t do any of this without you!

PS: Today is the first day of fall! I took these pictures this week – looks like fall is peaking through around here.

Author: Elizabeth Mayberry

  • I love this fall season, mostly because it makes me slow down and not have to be so productive with every minute. I hope you feel better soon!


    • Jenna, Thanks so much!! It has been rainy all week which is also making me slow. But in a good way!

  • melissa :)

    I LOVE FALL! πŸ™‚ Praying you have a blessed time enjoying this coming season.

  • Blogging can be so funny; I think there are a lot of reasons why blogging deadlines and goals stress us out so much (even if they are self-made)—part of the reason, I think anyway, is because social media and the Internet and technology and everything is ALWAYS ON—it’s a 24/7 proposition, so if you feel like you don’t get new content out, you’ll just get buried underneath the million other new things out, and people will forget you. I know I definitely feel the stress of trying to keep up, even though I know deep down that, like you said, I can’t do all the things. It’s a balancing act, to be sure. Sounds like this is your body’s way of getting you back into balance! Hopefully you feel better real soon.

    • Yes! Totally. And with working from home, I am technically always at work. haha.

  • I’ve had a very similar week sick on the couch. Hope you’re feeling better sweet friend!

  • I can relate to this on SO many levels–guilt is my greatest nemesis. Hang in there, and hope you feel better!

    • Gosh. That guilt just always sneaks back up. Not okay! haha. Praying for you too friend!

  • Kim Ridings

    Sorry that you were so sick sweetie. Love your self reflection! Keep on giving yourself grace.

    • Thanks Mom! Love you too! SO thankful for you and your wisdom and encouragement!

  • Carol Mayberry

    I love this post! In a world that tells us we can do whatever we want to, be what ever we want to it is actually refreshing to hear the truth…we have limits…we are created with limits. The thought actually makes me exhale.
    Glad fall is arriving!

    • Thanks so much Mom!! We do have limits – and it is SO freeing when we accept that! Thanks so much for your support and comment!! XOXO

  • I’m so, so sorry you were sick!! Hope you’re feeling fully recovered!! Your honesty (and your work ethic, how hard you strive to keep growing!) is so beautiful and so inspiring to me. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, and I’m excited for whatever you have planned for this space–whether 3 posts a day or 1 post a month πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much Julie!!! You are so sweet! Thanks so much for your encouragement – it really means a lot to me and is so great to have you on my team!

  • I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better! Sounds like a good attitude to have. It’s always good to remember to rest. Sending lots of good vibes and prayers to you!

  • Beth, we are the same person when it comes to this. I really, truly struggle with the fight against perfectionism and trying to do it all/be it all on a daily basis. I’ve had a few emotional breakdowns in the last few weeks that have caused me to step back and consider the greater picture. Physical, emotional and metal health always take priority, even when it feels like there is a million other things to accomplish πŸ™‚ I hope you are feeling back to 100% this week!

    • Laura! Thanks so much for your sweet words. I can totally relate to the break downs #iamemotional Totally! And thanks! I feel much better. This rainy week slowed me back into things!

  • Sorry you were so sick! Hope you are feeling better. All of your work will be waiting for you when you’re ready for it.

  • Sorry to hear that you were sick! It’s no good when something interferes with eating! But I’m so glad you wrote this. I think that I need something on my wall that says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” then right next to it “I cannot do all the things” haha while it sounds contradictory, what you wrote up there makes a distinction. We can’t wring ourselves out! So thanks for this. And I hope you’re able to get back on track this week!

    • Girl. Tell me about it! hahah. AND YES! He equips us to do His will and His tasks and He gives us strength not our own. But we can’t do all things and be all things even in that. We always have to sacrifice something to do something else well. Thanks for your sweet encouragement!