I Can’t Do It All …and neither can anyone else.



There was a bird in the above photo, really there was. The cormorant dove under the water while my camera was focusing and I snapped on nothing but water. I could not get the shot. And just like I didn’t get the shot, I don’t “get” everything else I try to do either.

Mind you, I’ve done loads of things I didn’t think I could do – or didn’t think I could do well.

Like being a reasonably good wife and mother – especially the mother part. I was the youngest of two kids in a family with few relatives and none who lived close by, so I never had a chance to get used to being around babies or little kids. I wasn’t perfect, both my kids have pointed out my failings to me, but they both love me and we get along well.

Sword fencing. Doing it at all let alone competently both right and left handed. I miss fencing a lot, but there’s no where near by to do it.

Playing fiddle. Nope – never expected that one and it still amazes me every time I play.

Writing. Writing well enough that my steady fanfiction readers kept suggesting I write something I could get published.

My third published mystery book releases Oct. 25th this fall.

Yes, I have done these and other things I didn’t think I could do, or do well. But I still don’t think any of us can do everything, no matter how hard we want to or try … and I get tired of being told we can.

How boring that would be if all of us could do everything.

Although I’m often envious of people who can do things I simply don’t seem to be able to do, I do think it’s cool that there are people who are fantastic at those things – and where would we be if there weren’t people who excel in those pursuits (whatever they may be)?

If we could all do everything we wouldn’t need each other – and that would be a very sad thing. If we all excelled at everything there would be no one to admire or look up to. No one to go see perform or any of that sort of thing.

Again, how boring.

I still try things. I still like to find out if I can . . .  But, I’m also striving to be more content with the fact that I’m not good at everything I wish I was good at. I’m striving to be at peace with not being able to do everything. To quit beating myself over the head with all the things I simply cannot do no matter how hard I’ve tried.

This “we can do everything we put our minds to” mantra sometimes, for some of us, has an ugly flip side. One of feeling worse and worse because:

“Oh my God! I can’t do _____! But we’re supposed to be able to do anything/everything if we only work hard enough at it! I’m a failure on a cosmic level!”


I’ve been there and felt that. I still do feel that way too much of the time.

So now I’m working at developing a new way to handle it.

I will:

Try things I’m not sure I can do and genuinely do my best at whatever I decide to pursue.

BUT  I will try to celebrate when I learn I can’t do something and be thankful for the people who can do it.

AND THEN I will go do the things I can do with joy! 🙂

If I can start to do this more consistently, I think this will, in the end, bring me a better sense of accomplishment along with more contentment and joy.


Do you struggle with our “you can do it all” culture?

Might you find it helpful to learn to be content with not being able to do everything?

Hugs from Pearl!