Over the past few years I've written a number of times about boundaries, creating space, and learning to let go of things. It never gets any easier for me. I'm a people pleaser to the extreme and I have an impossibly hard time saying no, even when I desperately want too. Over the past few weeks this has really come to a head for me.
I'm tired of meeting other people's expectations. I'm sick of being miserable in situations because I can't say no. I'm exhausted of keeping up with my over commitments.
I drove into work in tears a few days back with the weight of trying to balance it all. Church, family, friends, work, my house, my sanity, my blog, my goals, my weight. I finally sat down and thought, 'something has to give'.
I thought through what I could and couldn't eliminate. I started by writing an apologetic e-mail to an author I'd agreed to write a book review for. It was almost a week into April and she hadn't been able to give us a full copy of the book yet and I'm leaving on the 21st for Haiti. It was looming over my head and I thought, 'I don't have to do this'. I was sorry to go back on what I told her I'd do, but with a week and a half less time than I thought she was giving me, it didn't make the cut.
At the risk of sounding selfish I spent the next few days thinking about what I really want. What makes sense for me. What I need to do. But really, focusing on what I want out of the rest of this year. I felt so torn in a million directions and so overwelmed by everyone else's needs and desires. Their needs and desires were costing me dearly. It was time to take a step back and trim some fat. It was time to get real, honest, and maybe even a little selfish.
Too many of my relationships have entered the 80/20 zone. The zone where I'm putting in 80% of the effort to their 20% and I just can't maintain that long term. I believe all healthy relationships have an ebb and flow where each person takes on a little more of the weight for periods of time when necessary. But I was baring too much of the weight for too long.
I have entered a time in my life where I have to learn to say no. I'm 1 week out from leaving the country, 2 weeks out from renovating my house (1 day after reentering the country, mind you), 6 weeks out from my DC trip, 6 weeks out from the beginning of my busiest months of work and travel...and well, you get the idea. I've got a lot on my plate and I'm exhausted. I don't want the quality of my time, work, and effort to suffer because I keep finding myself saying yes when I know I need to say no.
I'm tearing up just writing this because I hate it and it's hard for me. But I'm spending the next few months clearing out some of my time and responsibilities. I need to make time to recover and relax. I've hit my breaking point, and now it is time to rebuild.