I don’t mean to start off on a negative note, but boy did I have a terrible week this week. I had a million things on my mind, I had a million things to do, I was stressed, I was tired, I was frustrated, I was moody and I definitely was not taking care of myself. This built and built during the week, eventually forming into a gigantic ball of fuck-diggery that hit me square in both the face and the gut over the weekend. A lot of things went wrong.
And you know what? It could have all been prevented. I could have prevented an almost unbearable chain of events by simply being honest with myself.
I get asked to do things for people all the time. I am naturally curious and a fast learner. Load this up with the ability to know how to do things without actually knowing that I knew how to do them in the first place and I become somewhat useful to the wide variety of people in my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love helping people in any way I can. I’ll stop with the self evaluations very soon but I am always one of the first to put my hand up when someone asks for help; a lot of the time, I’ll put my hand up before anyone’s even thought to ask and sometimes I’ll even find myself offering to help while I hear my brain, very practically, saying “No, no no no, you really don’t have the capacity to do that right now”. I’m thankful that this is a part of who I am but frankly, it sometimes drives me mad (I realise that sounds like a bit of a superficial whinge).
So, while I like to help people and I know it’s good to help people, I need to stop doing it at the expense of my own wellbeing. I need to listen to my brain when it’s screaming at me. I need to pause before I eagerly offer a hand and really take the time evaluate my capacity and ability to take on any extra responsibilities, big or small.
Well, you say whatever is right for your situation at the time based on your current situation. That might be no, that might be yes. That might even be a “no, but… ” or a”yes, but..”.
So ask yourself, if I take this on, what am I sacrificing? Is it worth it? Most importantly, will I be okay? Will this stress me out? Will this turn me into an unbearable partner/sister/daughter/coworker? Will this make me miss sleep?
Answer those questions.
It sounds selfish on the surface but if you’re being drilled into the ground by something that could have been avoided and it is affecting your everyday existence, you need to learn to better evaluate your time and stretch. There is no use saying “yes” to everything if you’re only giving everything 20, 40 or 60% effort. Being honest with yourself and making correct and informed decisions mean that you’re making a commitment to do everything you’ve signed up for at 100%, including yourself. I’ll say this for the future while I currently have the power of hindsight and while I’m thinking clearly: ensuring that you’re always working at 100% this is way more preferable to consistently making poor efforts because you’ve spread yourself too thin.
Anyway, for now, I know I’m not going to make this change over night but I’ll keep working on it. I really don’t want a repeat of this week.
P.S. Please don’t let this stop you from asking for my help, that’s not what I’m getting at at all. :)
I don’t like saying 'say no'. We should encourage helpfulness, not guide people on how to avoid helping each other. So, I will just say this: say yes, but say yes in moderation. Be helpful, but also be honest to yourself about what you can and can't take on.