Oct 15, 2015

Just (Don't) Do It!

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, October 15, 2015
When you are looking after others, don't forget to look after yourself too. This is something I've learned the hard way this year. Over the last few years I've had my hands full with the family, house renovations, working very long hours in the day job (even working 2 jobs for a while), heavily volunteering for organisations I've been involved in (5 positions including vice-pres and secretary), helping with everything the Barbarians have been involved in (scouts, basketball, school, music), playing in a local community band and trying to write. An overload that is hard to stop - everyone's heard the saying give a busy person a job and it will get done.

Something had to give. In the end that something was my health. Earlier this year I got (really) crook and it's only seven months later that I feel healthy again. During that time things had to give because I wasn't capable of managing them. It was a revelation. A chance for me to think about how rushed life was and to reassess how I'd like my life to be.

Now that I'm feeling healthy again the risk is I'll end up back where I started. You start, take on more and get a bit busier and slowly but surely it creeps up. It can be really hard to refuse to do something when you know you can fit a little more into your schedule.

I have set my priorities and I need to stick to them. I have to learn to say no. I'm off to a wobbly start but I have fantastic support from friends and family who are helping me maintain my perspective. I can do this and I know life will be better for it. I just have to say no.

Is saying 'no' something you struggle with?


Colin Smith on October 20, 2015 at 12:02 PM said...

No, but that's because I've determined what I am best at doing, and concentrate my efforts on those things. Just because I *can* do something, that doesn't mean I *ought* to do it, especially when there are others around better skilled than me at that particular thing. My wife, on the other hand, does have a hard time saying no, especially when something needs to be done and no-one else seems willing to do it. She's one of those who will step in and say, "Oh, alright, I'll do it!" There are times when I've had to insist she say no to things because she'll burn out.

AJ Blythe on October 21, 2015 at 6:52 AM said...

Colin, I read what you said about your wife - that's totally me. It happened last week. The Barbarians needed basketball coaches for their team. The club said if no one stepped forward they'd pull the teams from the competition. Parents all left with their kids (!! What the..? Don't they care?). So guess who is the coach now!! But at least the kids can keep playing.

Eleni Konstantine on October 25, 2015 at 10:25 PM said...

I hear ya sista! I'm in the process of letting go of all the extras that have been added to my pile over the years. Like you, I see an opening and fill the hole when no-one else steps forward. It's also made my already health issues harder to deal with and I finally recognised this. It was also having friends like yourself that were concerned that made me stop and take notice. Because like the frog in cold water, I didn't realise the pot had been added to heat.

AJ Blythe on November 9, 2015 at 1:21 PM said...

Love your analogy, Eleni. It's so true, and we can count our blessings we have friends who care about us enough to tell us the water is getting hot =)

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