Is there any such thing as 'doing it all'?
I am a yes person, if I think I have something to offer, I generally say yes when asked. But I can't create extra hours in the day so something will have to give writes Amii McKeever

There is a question I get asked sometimes and it elicits a range of emotions. These emotions depend on my mood and the framing of that question. The question is “How do you do it all?” I have a pretty simple response: “I don’t – something always has to give.” My mother, who is a great help to me when busy, will ask, “What had to suffer?” – as only a mother can get away with. That can be hard to deal with. When posed, I am immediately reminded of the “give” and the guilt that accompanies it.

Sometimes I wonder how this perception manifests at all. But to be fair, I suppose I do paint pictures through social media. I am a busy person, there is no denying that and I like being busy. Just over a year ago, I started this job and concurrently started my one-year term as the voluntary president of the Agricultural Science Association (ASA).

None of us can see into the future and I believe in taking opportunities as they present themselves

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I wouldn’t have planned this, in that if I had known that they would come together, I might have thought twice. But none of us can see into the future and I believe in taking opportunities as they present themselves. I am a yes person, and if I think I have something to offer, I generally say yes when asked.

So what had to give? This year, it was exercise mainly. I swam very regularly when I worked in Glanbia as with an office based right beside the Watershed swimming pool in Kilkenny, it was just very doable. This year, apart from holidays, which was more splashing around with the kids than laps, I think I swam twice. The second thing is my other hobby – sewing. The third (and although they always come first) it would be spending as much time as I would like with my kids. Of course the third is the main source of the aforementioned guilt.

Sometimes the 'yes' should be a 'no' but this guilt of not helping or doing what we feel we should or could be doing is more dominant

Doesn’t look like this guilt will ever go away either based on Katherine O’Leary’s column this week. After getting through Ploughing, she has had a turn and we wish her a speedy recovery. Katherine, I would respectfully suggest, is a doer and I can completely relate to her comment that she hates letting people down. Sometimes the “yes” should be a “no” but this guilt of not helping or doing what we feel we should or could be doing is more dominant.

In addition to Katherine’s piece, this week’s paper has reminded me and encouraged me across a number of the features. Odile Evans spoke to a number of the ambassadors speaking at events organised by the Local Enterprise Offices for National Women’s Enterprise Day on 17 October. These women will share their stories of overcoming challenges and give insights into how they dealt with them. Well worth attending for anyone thinking of starting up their own business or is already there and struggling with doing it all.

I am going to put a swim in the family plan for Saturday mornings, bring the kids and dad can throw them around while I do a few laps

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On the exercise front, I am going to take the advice of Derval O’Rourke and be my own trainer. She advises that we plan out when we can fit in that exercise so that is what I am going to do. I am going to put a swim in the family plan for Saturday mornings, bring the kids and dad can throw them around while I do a few laps. I need to be realistic as there is no hope I will be back swimming a mile without a bit more effort, but it will be a start.

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