What I usually hear is, “say yes, try something new, expand, go forward, give it a chance, be open.” There were times when I said yes just to please others which is the worst. How about I start a season of No because this is simply what I really need. To say, “No!”
The last couple of months I have spent a lot of time juggling quite a few things. Running around, school work, assignments, reading some ridiculous emails, answering a few but not all, a move, fitting things in between things and then add more things while getting used to a new situation and environment. In all honesty, the crazier and busier it is, the more strengths and power I seem to have. Until I crash. Hard! But this usually takes a long time. I like new plans and schedules and I am surprisingly functioning pretty well under pressure. Not when it comes to statistic homework, assignments and spreadsheets.
I lean towards perfectionism. My perfectionism comes with a very strong urge to do everything myself, so it is exactly how I want it when I want it by giving and applying 200% to anything I sign on for or that is assigned to me. A couple of weeks ago I had this feeling that I cannot go on like this anymore. I slept badly for weeks, I was constantly tired and dealt with a foggy, cloudy brain most of the day. I was exhausted and ran myself down with more errands, self-inflicted stress and everyday life. This was the time, when my body responded to all the stress I had created by simply stopping me in my tracks. And for the first time, I really listened.
I said No to certain people and projects. This was very hard for me because I have this need to get everything done that I signed up for. Saying no felt initially weird but in hindsight, I remember feeling incredibly relieved. I wanted more of that. There was a wedding and a bachelorette-party I was supposed to help planning but I said No to both. I experienced another full-body sigh of relief when that was not on my to-do list anymore. Although I really wanted to do both things to perfection, I knew for my own well-being that I needed to say No. I continued saying No for some time and released myself from any additional tasks outside of my son, writing, and school and it felt so good. I decided to lean more into that then because it felt awesome.
It is so natural to say yes to everyone and everything, because yes makes people happy, and making people happy naturally makes us happy. It was always yes, yes, yes with me. These days, I ask myself simple questions first before making a decision. First and foremost, how do I really feel about this? Is it really a good idea to say yes? Even though I need time to fully recharge and refocus a bit, life is good these days. My life is calming down and most importantly, I do not lose focus. I know what I want and what I do not want anymore. A major priority I will never skip again.
Other questions I ask myself are if certain things in my life reenergize and inspire me to create or rather hold me down. Whatever I am doing I want to be there and experience it fully. For example, when I am writing, I am writing. I do not have a nanny or a babysitter, so it is my responsibility to use every minute I have (usually early in the morning or when my son is asleep) to maximize my output. Time management is key for me and I became very good at it without tiring myself out.
Everything in life is a choice. I learned that I am in charge of how I spend my time and with whom as well as the effect my choices have on my life. My friend told me the other day that, “you can do it all and give 200%, but you cannot do it all well.” Sure I can say yes to everything, but something’s got to give at some point down the road. Balance is hard, but I figured it becomes easier when I simplify the things I am trying to maintain. The other day, my son wanted a toy at the store and I told him he cannot have it. He looked at me and said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need.” I listen to The Stones a lot.
So yes, I believe I CAN have it all if I define what my “all” is. I get to decide, then create it, and have this cake and eat it, too. It is up to me. I know in my life, my “all” included a deep, solid relationship with my son, friend, friends, enjoying the work I do, writing and carving time out for me. I will also add good food and lots of nature, mindful- and quietness. It is all very simple and I refuse to complicate my life anymore.
I bought my son the toy. I mean c’mon he can recite THE STONES!