Know your capacity

Anyone claiming to have ‘unlimited potential’ makes me slightly exasperated.


Because we’re all limited in one way or another.

The concept of ‘unlimited’ is absurd and places unrealistic expectations on this humble human vessel we inhabit. 

A more helpful thing to consider is capacity. How much can you fit in at the moment? And how much do you want to fit in?

Like a suitcase, we pack things into our lives. And some people overpack to the extreme so that they end up lugging around heavy, unnecessary stuff that completely wears them out.

So what do you really need in your life? 

We all need the basics of sleep, food, water, shelter and air. 

But what matters beyond that?

For me, it’s about social and emotional connection, rest, looking after my health, nurturing my family, and adventures, big and small. 

I have to work but I am also incredibly lucky that my job gives me a lot of the things I value, beyond monetary gain. 

In the past, I chased sensation, driven by FOMO, curiosity, nervous energy and low self-esteem. I thought that if I could fill myself up with interesting experiences, I would increase my status and social worth. I wanted to be one of those people who had been there and done that. 

What the hell was I trying to prove? 

I kept running towards the bright lights, hoping that I would finally get the recognition and attention that I crave. 

But now? 

I’ve been humbled by middle age. I have navigated a lot of failure and heartache, none of which I saw coming. 

These days, my goals are small. I find quiet pride in being able to pay rent, buy groceries and pay bills on time. I walk the dog, read to my son and cook simple meals. 

At the moment, I am 35 weeks pregnant. At 43-years-old, that’s no mean feat (as my body keeps reminding me). 

I can’t walk up a hill without getting puffed out. I have constant heartburn, my pelvis aches and my ribcage feels like it’s being crushed from the inside. 

I am not unlimited in any way. There are clear borders to what I can do, and cope with. Recognising those boundaries has been a boon to my health because now I don’t ride ramshackle over them, and suffer the inevitable consequences. 

Honour your capacity. Alter your choices to accommodate where you’re at. Know that capacity changes over time and always leave space for the sweetest things – a nap, a chat, a cup of tea and a laugh. 

1 comment on “Know your capacity

  1. Lovely musings Emma. I wish you good health and harmony in your life.
    You deserve so much love to come your way, you lovely woman.

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