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I’m Exhausted, But I’m Crushing It

This week’s inspiration comes from one of my own – my son. As some of you may know, he attends college in sunny California, about 3000 miles away from me. The three-hour time zone difference often makes it hard for us to sync up our conversations. Last week, after a failed FaceTime connection and three different attempts to schedule a call, I finally resorted to text and messaged him simply,

I'm Exhausted, But I'm Crushing It V“Are you OK?”

As I waited for my phone to light up with his response, I thought about that simple question. I guess that summed it up accurately. After all, that’s all I really wanted – scratch that – NEEDED to know. I wanted to know a whole lot more. I wanted to know about his classes, schedule, workouts, how it was going with his roommates, what was happening with his social life. You know – all those annoying details that mothers want to know.

Finally a shrill ding interrupted by daze, lighting up more than my screen.

“Hey Ma! I’m exhausted and busy, but I’m crushing it right now!”

I was expecting the exhausted and busy. But the words crushing it made me shake my head and laugh out loud.

“Great! ” I texted back quickly. Then I thought about it for a minute and added, “Me, too!”

I had finished my book proposal, queried a few literary agents, and just received two positive responses. I, too, was exhausted and busy from the midweek pace of appointments, to-do’s, and deadlines. But when I stopped long enough to take a snapshot of that moment and reflect – well, yes, – I, too, was crushing it!

It reminded me of a quote I read some time ago that still rolls around the back of my mind, especially when life gets hectic and I wonder if I can possibly do one more thing.

In his “That’s that” address to the graduating class of Morehead scholars in 1959, John Motley Morehead III, the original founder of the Morehead-Cain scholarships at UNC Chapel Hill, challenged the grads:

Stay with it, play the game, play it according to the rules. If you get hurt, don’t holler; if you lose, pay up. Nobody can win all the time. Play it hard, for any machine – electrical, human, or mechanical – shows its greatest efficiency when loaded closest to its capacity.

Don’t you just love that?

Perhaps that’s what my son and I experienced. Loaded to our capacity, we felt that exhausted-yet-blissful moment of crushing it.

Why not admit it? Why not celebrate it? I must admit that it felt good to say it.

Granted, who knows what tomorrow will bring. More rejections. More work. More busy-ness and exhaustion for sure. But in that moment, it felt great to simply acknowledge that well-earned success.

So how about you? Have you crushed it lately?

Think hard about when you were exhausted and if that exhaustion was worth it. I bet you were crushing it.

Then tell me about it. I’d love to know.

Rebecca Faye Smith Galli

Rebecca Faye Smith Galli (Becky) is a reluctant-but-obsessed columnist who writes about love, loss, and healing. Surviving significant losses—her seventeen-year-old brother’s death; her son’s degenerative disease and subsequent death; her daughter’s autism; her divorce; and nine days later, her paralysis from transverse myelitis, a rare spinal cord inflammation that began as the flu—has fostered an unexpected but prolific writing career. In 2000, The Baltimore Sun published her first column about playing soccer with her son—from the wheelchair. Fifteen years later, with 400 published columns and a completed memoir, she launched, Thoughtful Thursdays—Lessons from a Resilient Heart.

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