Underachievement in January

January 31, 2018

Underachieving is harder than you'd think. There are so many choices in one day and in many of them you can ask yourself, "why am I choosing this over that?" Is it because I'm being an achiever? Am I choosing this to be an underachiever... and does that mean I'm overachieving at underachieving?!?! So January is just for figuring it out.

Real life example of the above:

I bought 2 cheapo boxes of valentines, in January mind you. But then you need candies or something to go with those... well you don't NEED to but its worth it to avoid the whining of your overly observant 3 year old. 

Internal dialog:
Self: "I should get annies bunnies, they don't have fake colors, I need 24 for both kids' classes, that's $12.... hmmmm."
Self: "other people don't care about food coloring. Its just one day, who cares. Target brand 24 for $4 boom. Are you getting those just to NOT get the bunnies? But what about the colors?! Its a neurotoxin!"
Self: "remember when you made Nora's pinterest worthy valentines that said "some bunny loves you" with annies bunnies?!"
Self: "yeah. real cute, shut it." *buy target brand*

I realize that some of you don't have this internal dialog. That's amazing, please invite me to coffee in your brain. But some of you do so Im here to say hello to your brain and do our special thoughts handshake. 

Underachieving and Having Small Children

Theres a difference in underachieving and being lazy. Do my kids have to have TV free days full of educational activities? No. But they need very little tv and stuff to do. This is where planning helps me underachieve. I have a general weekly schedule with library books and crafts built in. This is less stressful because I don't have to figure it out in the moment, feel guilty in the moment, and "make up" for my lack of it which usually leads to over achievement. "Lets go to Toys R us and buy legos and make Elsa's ice tower to perfection and watch your sister destroy it and then ill rebulid when she goes to sleep" NOPE. 

I tried to potty train Perry over the new year holiday. She was great free bottom but it was way too cold too be free bottom. I gave it a good ole 5 day try and you know what, I quit. She just turned two a couple days before and part of me was over-achieving. I could hear myself saying she potty trained 5 days after she turned 2. Nora was 20 months. Look at me Im so special at poops in the potty. NOPE. Maybe she'll be 2 and half. Maybe shell be who cares years old. One day she'll be potty trained and that's great. 

One day I woke up with a sinus infection and 13 piles of laundry. I called a babysitter at 8:30 and she was there at 9:30 for me to "get things done." I took a shower and slept on the warm laundry pile on my bed. 

Another day, after never looking at the family calendar, I realized Rob was leaving for 6 days. To help me underachieve, I called my mom and begged her to come. And she did. You need others to help you underachieve.

Underachieving and Food

We eat Paleo-ish. Hard on the -ish. For the first 3 weeks of January I was so hard core paleo... basically whole30. Then something amazing happened. I went to the allergist because I have had lip hives for the last 2 years. I had every skin scratch prick test you could have and guess what. Im allergic to nothing. NOTHING. It doesn't matter what I eat. I'm going to have lip hives. This doesn't sound amazing but it freed my mind to see that you can over achieve at eating. I was, and it was stressful at times. Im not paleo for allergy reasons but for hereditary high cholesterol reasons which is still a very legit reason. But for this month, and maybe next too, I need to underachieve at it just to feel the freedom of it. I also bought another cookbook for more ideas. 

If I don't want to cook, that means going out to eat, which is more expensive than cooking at home. Were probably going to eat out more because cooking every night is exhausting and an overachievement for me. I should also note to you kindred overachievers at this point that I hear your "make double and put it in the freezer" thoughts right now. Yes, that is a good idea. I do that sometimes. Also my freezer is the size of a large priority box so chances are I'm not going to pack up to 70 lbs of dinners in there. 

If you eat crap you feel like crap. This is another "underachieving does not equal lazy" scenario. 


My kids have watched more TV shows. My house is messier. I ate more sugar. I said no to design projects. Thought about a business opportunity and then took a nap about it. I've asked & paid for help. The more I plan the less I panic and stress. Saying "no" is a great skill to acquire. Can't wait to see what I don't do in February. Goal: Underachieve at Nora's 4th birthday party. 

Would you rather have an overachieving 3-Star, or an underachieving 5-Star?

— Bret Bielema

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