Anything, But Certainly NOT Everything

This past weekend I traded in the busy city life for a peaceful summer at the beach. My days have quickly gone from car horns and crowds of people to ocean waves and swarms of seagulls.

Though I find sunrises here especially beautiful and the air to be much sweeter, my brain has yet to fall into time with the peaceful lull of the tides. Instead, it’s been a bit of a jittery mess. Perhaps, I haven’t given it quite enough time to fully grasp the fact that I’m on vacation, but I’ve decided to blame it on the fact that I’m just experiencing my “Stages of Summer” process.

Stage One: The “Woo Yes! Vacation!” Stage

In which my brain is taking a giant sigh of relief, because it doesn’t have to think about school work for a very long time.

Stage Two: The “Ah, what? Vacation?” Stage

In which my brain wakes up and realizes that it has no idea what to do with itself now that it’s not thinking about school work.

Stage Three: The “Wow! I finally have free time!” Stage

In which I create an extremely lengthy summer bucket list full of completely outrageous and time-consuming goals that are most likely impossible to accomplish in the short span of three months.

Stage Four: The “My bucket list is way too long, I don’t know where to start, what am I doing with my life?” Stage

In which my brain thinks in annoying run-on sentences as I realize that my Stage Three expectations were way too high and I can’t possibly get everything done and I don’t even know how to begin and I’m afraid that I won’t ever feel accomplished or be successful if I can’t do absolutely everything RIGHT NOW and I also talk so much that I sort of kind of forget to breathe and-

*Insert deep gasp for air here*


In the midst of this crazy panic, I decided to simply waste time on Pinterest, as I usually do. Then, while scrolling through endless chocolate chip cookie recipes and pictures of sundresses, I stumbled across this quote: “You can do anything, but not everything”. David Allen you are a very wise dude.

Sometimes I feel like I make so many plans for myself that I become overwhelmed and I end up getting nothing accomplished. But I think this problem can be solved in two easy steps.

  1. Realize that you can’t possibly do everything. And that’s okay. Don’t continuously create high expectations for yourself, because it will just result in you feeling defeated and unaccomplished. As much as we like to think we can handle everything,  sometimes we definitely bite off a bit more than we can chew. Unfortunately, humans weren’t born with crazy multi-tasking superpowers. Now, once you’ve coped with this, it’s time to move on to step two. Action.
  2. Break it down. Look at your giant list of crazy, impractical things and pick out only a few. Focus on today. Now from these few things create a short and practical list of goals that you know can be accomplished in the span of 24 hours. (Or you know, a little less than that if you enjoy sleeping.)


So deep breaths for everyone. Remember that you most definitely can do anything that you put your mind to. But not everything that you put your mind to. At least not all in one day. Take it one step at a time and go from there. You’re doing just fine.

Also reminder: it’s summer! So take a break every once in a while. You totally deserve it, you ambitious go-getter, you.

~Madelynne Catherine


P.S. I got my super cute agenda from Barnes & Noble and it’s illustrated by the lovely Becca Cahan. It is actually my life-saver and I highly recommend investing in one for yourself by clicking here.



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