Funny how yesterday I wrote about Feeding Your Soul, and today I feel included to talk about recharging.
Recharging has not only been near and dear to my heart and on my mind as of late, but it’s funny how something can smack you in the face and put you in a position where you are forced to choose between recharging and people’s desires of you.
Today, I drew a line. I was going to spend my 3rd weekend in a row trying to cram it all in – meet everyone’s expectations – do what was expected. And I looked at it all and said – nope. Something has got to give.
I have not picked up my camera in close to a month.
My garden is a neglected mess (that is still producing ironically).
I have a stack of books I would love to read if my mind wasn’t exhausted by the time my day was done.
I have projects I would love to see get completed.
I have a Daddy who I would love to have a quiet evening with instead of what has been happening as of late.
I have soccer tickets that I would like to use instead of hand off for others to use.
And I’m tired of having to make decisions around those things and obligations only to have people guilt me when I say no. I had one of those things happen this morning. Tonight I’m going to a concert with SB. It has been on the calendar for weeks. I said I could do a committee meeting tomorrow morning at 9am without thinking about animal duty and SEAF work that needed to be done by noon. Could I have done it all? Yes. But I realized doing it was going kill me. That by the time evening rolled around, I would be exhausted – and I would be doing for the third weekend in a row what has been killing me.
So I protected myself, apologized for the late change of plans, explained I had overbooked myself – and suggestion next steps.
Only to get back an email so laden with guilt and bullshit assumptions that I simultaneously wanted to cry and tell the person to fuck off. I was looking after myself – and found myself in a position where I had to defend my decision.
After some talking to a friend who pointed out I owed him no explanation other than what I gave him already, I replied pointing out that this meeting wasn’t blocking them from going forward if rescheduled. Gave him the info he needed via email, and pointed out that once all of this crap passes (and provided a short list of the past few weeks) that I will then be ready to focus on this issue more. And left it at that.
This isn’t just a venting post for me. I do have a point. And it is two fold.
The first – do what is right with you even if no one understands. If you need a time out or a day off or to cancel your meetings because you need one day without them – you should. I’m not saying we all have carte blanche to do that every day, but when life has you on the ropes and you need a breather, you should be able to take one. It’s not for someone to ‘permit’ you to do so. Do what is right for you.
And if someone has to step away – has to reschedule – has to exhale from crazy – let them do it without judgement. Encourage them. Because often times those who overextend themselves, do so because they don’t want to let anyone down. Don’t fall into the trap of saying “you need to say no” then guilt them when they do.
Because recharging is the only thing that allows people to keep going without burning out. Encouraging and supporting makes them more helpful later – not less.