A love note to George Bailey

published3 months ago
3 min read

“I love everything I do.”

A friend asked me how it was going with teaching – coaching - life and this is how I responded.

My friend thought it was extraordinary. I love everything I do.

After all, he knew that a year ago, my mind had drama. I wasn’t sure how I could do both, equally passionately. What even is a life coach--Holocaust educator? I had never seen one. My brain told me I would probably have to give one up. I studied my university’s retirement page like a page of scripture.

It was a feeling that was familiar to me, as a working mom.

When I was with my kids, I felt guilty for not being at work.

When I was at work, I felt bad for not being at home.

I believed that if only I could focus on one of the things, I’d be excellent at it. If only I didn’t have to work outside the home, my house would be picked up, family dinners would be more nutritious, I would never miss a field trip.

If only I could focus completely on work, I’d have a book written, a better contract, and make more money.

It wasn’t true. Being a teacher, thinker, and mom is who I am. Of course they compliment each other because they are who I am.

Remembering that previous all-or-nothing thinking helped me see it when it came up again, wearing different clothes. So when my brain told me that I would probably have to give up teaching or coaching, I asked (eventually) if this was really true. And I replaced my all-or-nothing thinking with this:

What if all that matters is that I love everything I do?

I decided to strengthen the parts of my life that I love. I found new ways to connect with students (they're the best!). I simplified the podcast by recording without a script (not as terrifying as I had imagined and actually pretty freeing). I opened my calendar to coach a couple of clients on Sunday and decided to take Saturdays off from work.

Your black and white thinking may show up in different ways.

I have to invite my mom to live with us or I’m a bad daughter.

I can’t be happy if I stay at my job.

I can’t feel secure without more savings in the bank.

Only after retirement can I live the life I truly want to live

This week, if you find yourself thinking that there are only two answers to a problem, try questioning your brain's logic. Rather than holding perfectionist ideals, you can choose a different way to value your days, such as

What matters is that I feel like myself, whatever happens

I’m just going to love the people I love even more

All that matters is that I love myself

That might look like:

I have to invite my mom to live with us or I’m a bad daughter. I'm just going to love my mom even more.

I can’t be happy if I stay at my job. What matters is that I feel like myself at my job.

I can’t feel secure without more savings in the bank. All that matters is that I love myself.

Give it a try and see if it opens up new possibilities you hadn't even considered. ❤️

What matters in this life is something we get to decide. We get to decide if it matters that we have a picked up house. We get to decide if it matters that we're good neighbors. We get to decide if the color of our hair matters, or if the amount we have in the bank matters. Embracing the power of the human activity of "mattering" is the topic of this week's episode, and it's a good one.

Episode #69: Infinite goodness (It's a Wonderful Life)

You might be surprised that It's a Wonderful Life holds a special place in my Jewish family's heart. My dad loved Jimmy Stewart and was especially taken by this holiday movie about George Bailey, with its themes of family, friendship, and community.

In this week's episode I use the film to ask this question: How we know when we're succeeding?

When we think about success, we often think of things that can be measured -- money in the bank, rungs on the ladder at work, pounds on the scale, books published. When those numbers aren't where we want them to be, we feel terrible.

Yet so many of the most important things we do can't be measured, such as taking care of the people we love and using our gifts in the world. Today's episode is for when you aren't sure that the things you've done have made a difference, when you're tired of not succeeding. It focuses on a belief so simple, yet so powerful. It will remind you that you matter and the things you do matter -- even when they don't work out.

Take a listen and let me know what resonates!

Love, Rachel

⭐ I love being connected to you ⭐

website: coachingwithrachel.com

FB: facebook.com/rachelbaumcoaching

email: rachel@coachingwithrachel.com

love notes: lovenotes.coachingwithrachel.com (sign up here if this was forwarded to you!)

sign up for a consultation : https://forms.gle/xeYg8daF2oqp7KCKA

Rachel Baum

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. I also host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love.

Read more from Rachel Baum