Two days ago, I was feeling overwhelmed by my mounting responsibilities and LONG days. Life tends to play out in cycles – in ebb and flow. In a mom’s life there’s seldom any “ebb” – There’s busy, and there’s out of control! I realised, after a difficult night sleep that I was stressing over something I did not have to do. I had set myself up by saying, “Yes” to something that I had no business saying “Yes” to. I wanted to please. I wanted to help, and I was suffering for it – Once I realised the enormity of what I had gotten myself into, I decided that I had to get out of it. I had to contact someone to tell them news he/she would not want to hear, “Count me out.” I took a deep breath, rehearsed my straightforward but polite speech, and made the call. Whew! It was SO liberating. I survived that dreaded phone call. Nobody died or fell apart as a result of it! “I did it,” I thought, “I took care of myself.” It felt good!
We often think that things will not work out if we decline a request to volunteer – that things will somehow crumble in our absence. How egocentric we can sometimes be! The truth is that life does go on, and whoever asked for our help will find another, or take care of things themselves.
I felt like a prisoner who had just been exonerated. I was on a roll! There was another person who asked me for something – a favor for which I was not completely comfortable. Again, I gave a kind, but firm, “No,” and an “I wish you well.” I think I’m finally growing into my own forty- something year old skin! I may look a bit worse for wear, but mentally I feel better than ever!
I love spending my days and evenings taking care of others. It’s who I am. For once, however, it felt so good taking care of myself! “No – ” a most empowering word. You must try it sometimes!