I had a 12-hour day. You know, the type of day when you leave before the sun comes out and don’t return until well after sunset?
I left my work life and personal responsibilities to serve the community and fulfill my commitment to giving back.
The end of the day left me exhausted and reconsidering my choices. The revelation for change came when I realized that I had missed a vital telephone meeting involving my son and had to be reminded that it was my mother’s birthday.
I was not one to quit, but I knew what I needed to do: I had to let go. I have found that letting go is one of the hardest things to do, especially for women.
Many women ask how to balance family, personal, and work life. Most answer honestly by saying there is no balance; you must prioritize. I could not agree more.
Sometimes, we take on too much. In our attempts to accommodate other people, help others, or accept responsibilities, we steal time from ourselves; it may be due to guilt or a sincere attempt to serve others.
When things get overwhelming, it is time to say enough is enough. It may be time to take inventory of everything not moving you closer to your personal or professional goals. Your personal goal may be to try to live a well-balanced life and contribute to helping others do the same. Your career or business goal may be to take on only what you can handle or to have a professional life that offers you flexibility and helps you feel fulfilled and appreciated.
I suggest that you save yourself first. The people that depend on you do so because you are dependable. Trust me when I say that they will replace you with someone else if they need to. Remember that we teach people how to treat us; if we allow them to drain us of everything we have, they will willfully take advantage of it.
My response to my dilemma is to reduce the obligations I have placed on myself. I have determined some outside projects will have to be cut despite my good intentions. I will keep those that I am most passionate about and where I feel most appreciated. I will not be giving until it hurts.
My Lesson: Sometimes, good intentions have to be reassessed. If you are doing anything that makes you forget your own mother’s birthday, stop it! Take a time-out.
My Suggested Action Plan: Start to remove items from your plate and prioritize your tasks and responsibilities.
Please share your insight on letting go and moving on to enjoy a more peaceful existence.