Have you ever made the mistake of spreading yourself too thin, so to speak? Over committing yourself only to encounter those hiccups in your schedule that increase the demands for more of your time and energy, only to be left feeling as though you are unable to give your best to everyone and everything? I am guilty of this on a regular basis and am aware of doing it at the time but for some reason I just can’t seem to stop. Why do I run on this constant hamster wheel, when it leaves me feeling drained of my energy and resources?
I think all of us have an inner force inside that drives us to want to be able to do it all, to be our own version of a super hero to those in our lives who desire or need us or our time. In a perfect world this might be great way to live. But our world is not perfect and it is not necessary or possible to be and do everything for everyone all the time, which is why we should prioritize the needs and wants we meet to ensure a harmonious balance.
There are things we do because we really have no choice in the matter. Going to work, paying bills, preparing meals, medical care, caring for children, caring for a parent who is in need, all fall under this category that we will call mandatory. We must first take care of ourselves and our immediate family before we can indulge in the other areas.
Next we have the things we enjoy doing. Whether it is a yoga class, a good book, a walk with a friend, a night out with a significant other, etc., these are things that bring us pleasure! It is important to have these enjoyable connections with ourselves and others to feel fulfilled.
Last we have the area of obligation. These are things we do, not because we want to, but because we are afraid of how others will feel or what they will say. This is usually the area that gets me into trouble. Such as agreeing to show up at that birthday party, even though I already have plans I’m looking forward to. Then being disappointed about not being able to spend more time where I wanted to be because I also committed to be somewhere else.
Going forward, I need to keep these priorities in mind. I will not obligate myself to unnecessary commitments, when possible. I will try to eliminate the feeling of guilt for spending my time the way I want and with whom I want.
“But it’s alright now, I learned my lesson well. You see, ya can’t please everybody, so ya got to please yourself.”….Rickey Nelson “Garden Party.”