Celebrating Strong Women: How to Do it All

http://www.anneleenphotography.com
http://www.anneleenphotography.com

I’m pleased to introduce Renata Pepper as our Strong Women contributor today. Renata is a Franco-Italian-American living in Paris. She is a mother, works as a location manager (www.renatapepper.com), and loves anything food-related.

How to Do it All

I am one of those people who likes to be involved in many things and who thrives on activity. I am a mom of two young, active girls, I have my own business as a freelance location manager for film and photo shoots in Paris, and I have a tendency to say yes when asked to be a part of anything exciting. A lot of people look at me as I muddle and juggle through these roles and ask me how I do it all.

The answer is simple. I don’t.

It’s impossible to do everything, and especially to give every part of your life the same level of intense commitment.

Recently I have been realising that maturing means learning to let go. On one hand, letting go of expectations, of disappointments, of not getting what you want, of restrictions on yourself and others, and of many other things that don’t matter when looked at through the wide-angle lens of a lifetime.

On the other hand, letting go can also mean to lose grip on something, and therefore to not have a handle on it. It seems that keeping it together and keeping up appearances continue to be strict expectations that we and society put on ourselves. In order to be capable of handling the season of great self-sacrifice, risk, and responsibility that comes with parenthood and also with starting a business, I have come to accept that I will never have a firm grip on every aspect of my life simultaneously. In fact, it has surprised me to see that at times, the looser the grip, the better. I accept that I will often reach the end of my reserves of time, inner strength, patience, and resourcefulness. It is an uncomfortable place for me to be in, but I am trying hard to learn to accept limited energy and a constant vulnerability.

Practically, I aim to be realistic about what is actually achievable in one day, streamlining and shedding superfluous tasks as I go along. I invest myself and my time in fewer things, but try to be fully present in every moment for those that I choose to be a part of. Considering that I am so much more aware of my limited reserves, I try and rest more, and I also lean more on my faith in God and on those around me.

This is a season of strength in weakness. I am learning to take joy in this season, and take heart because there will be others.

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2 thoughts on “Celebrating Strong Women: How to Do it All

  1. Renata, there’s a lot of wisdom in your words. I, too, have had to learn to let go of expectations (both of me on myself and others on me) and be okay with the reality that I can not do ALL things well. But I can do the things God’s called me to, and when I’m walking with Him, I can do those things well. I, too, am learning to live fully in each moment. Especially with kiddos at home, I want to be all there with them. I set boundaries so that I get time to do what I want/need to do as well, but in the time I’m with them, I want to be fully with them.

    I so enjoyed reading your words today!

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