Friday, November 11, 2016

Still a work in progress......

On August 1st I made a deal with myself to slow it slow it way down.

I took stock of my progress on August 26th (the day after my birthday) and thought I was doing pretty well.

Then I fell. Fast and hard. Right back into my previous ways.

It started in late September. In a 15-day window I taught 11 classes, attended 2 charity events, went away for a one 3-day weekend, did an overnight at one of our state parks and wrote 2 articles for our neighborhood magazine. Somewhere in there I am sure I also did some laundry, some yoga and some serious napping. And everyone knows these were all in addition to a 40+ hour work week, right?

I took a deep breath, recognized what happened and actually said NO a few times. That lasted about 2 weeks.

Between October 15th – November 2nd I taught 10 classes ran a 5K, attended 1 event, and coordinated a blood drive, a block party and a trail day. I also wrote 4 articles and ramped up my marathon training (I do have one coming up in January you know!)

Oh, and did I mention I joined a tennis league in early September??

WTF? I ask you. Or maybe you ask me????

All of it, every single bit of it, is my fault.

Obviously it wasn’t enough to just inherently switch to a no mentality. I needed to find my reason – and I finally did.

I had a heartfelt conversation with a friend, another yes-woman.   Our conversation went a different way than any other conversation I’ve ever had on the topic.

It’s not just about me anymore.

It’s the bigger picture. It’s not just about how tired I am or how much I sacrifice or how I need a night to relax and do nothing. A couple of things happen when we over commit.  We aren’t there for our family.

Yes, we might be there in person…sitting on the couch, watching TV. But are we there? Do we know what is going on with them? Are we paying attention or are we trying not to nod off because we are so exhausted? Are we skipping bike rides or hikes or other opportunities for adventure because we have chores that need done or things that couldn’t be done during the week because we were too busy being there for someone else?

And sometimes it’s ok if it’s just about me. Saying yes every single time I have an opening leaves less opportunity for spontaneity and saying yes to the things I really WANT to do as opposed to the things I feel OBLIGATED to do. Spontaneous happy hours after work, impromptu day hikes, turning up the radio and cooking dinner with  Michael. All my favorite things were taking a back seat.

I’m not saying that “no” is always the right answer. But there has to be a balance, right? Where I can feel fulfilled but not feel stretched? Where I can build good relationships with friends and family too, not just my co-workers.

So, I go on. Trying to say no every time I can.

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