I have missed writing these past two weeks, but I have felt the need to step back, so I did and I’m not sorry.
You see, I needed to spring clean my home, where my husband and I raise my son who is almost four, my daughter who is almost two and look after our wonderful black lab. As you can imagine, after a winter in lockdown, there were some jobs that needed to be done that just haven’t been possible with studying, working and writing to you wonderful people and so something had to give, and this was it.
At first I really believed that, like Dr. Strange or Bernard with his watch, that I was fully capable of making it happen, that I could do everything and we would all be happy but after the first day, it occurred to me that despite popular opinion, I am not superwoman. Even with the help of my amazing and very involved (when not recovering from surgery) husband I just couldn’t keep on top of the regular cleaning and laundry, feeding and entertaining children, walking the dog and studying while trying to do all the extra cleaning I need to do. I would start each morning with amazing intentions, work at a million miles an hour and then burn out before passing out on the sofa and certainly not doing any of the husband and wife things, let alone planning, researching and writing a blog.
I’ve been in similar situations when I was younger, it may have been more socialising than housework but the need to do everything and be everything to everyone is the same. Before I would feel guilty about letting people down, I would tell myself how I was a bad friend, lazy, not good enough and in the end it made me quite unwell.
I would say “yes” to anything that my friends asked, Do I fancy going out at 11pm when I’m in my pj’s already, of course, just give me half an hour. Your ex posted something on facebook on a school night and you need someone to eat ice-cream with, of course the door is open. If you are reading this thinking you can relate I have one piece of advice for you…Say “No” occassionally.
Now I have grown in more ways than one, I know that speaking to myself like that is not helpful. I am an amazing friend, and now I value myself and my time more and can say no, I am an even better friend, because when I say “yes” I have the energy and capacity to be fully present and involved. I am certainly good enough. I am not superwoman although I am a phenominal woman.
This realisation definitely makes it easier to say “no”, because I know now that it really doesn’t matter. If I decline a night out, I’m not going to lose friends over it. My friends, and indeed your friends won’t hold it against you forever. In fact they may respect you for it. When you say “no” to others, what you are really saying is “yes” to yourself. Giving your batteries time to recharge or do something that is important to you means that when you do say “yes” to others, they get the best of you, not the rest of you.