An Empty Glass
The demands from work keep coming, your friends/family request your energy and time, the house could use some cleaning/organizing, your long range plans (vacations, career progression, health goals, financial budgets) need attention, and somewhere in between all of that you must make sure you eat, sleep, exercise, emote and have a little time to think.
Do you ever have those days when you’ve simply given all you can give?
I feel like I’ve lost touch with myself. When I wake up I’m still me, but for some reason I feel like a prisoner in my existence. It starts to feel like I’m just a lemonade stand with a constant string of customers each of whom has some issue- the price per glass is too high, the lemonade too sweet or too sour, the stand itself is positioned on an inconvenient street corner, one wants pink lemonade and another really just wants seltzer with lemon flavor…etc.
Two things seem to be at play from my perspective:
– Somewhere in my past I missed the lesson on boundary setting/enforcement
– I want to be accommodating, as it communicates that I care about the other person
The interaction starts as a simple one of trying to help, support or just spend time with another person – to meet their request of me. However, somewhere along the line it becomes a string of boundary testing…how far will I actually drive if my friend wants to eat at a specific restaurant chain only on the other side of town, how much of my personal life am I willing to lose in order to finish a report for a client in a short time frame, how much time can I spend preparing grad school applications to the detriment of time and activities occurring right now in real time?
For some reason, I have the idea that a good/kind person does all they can to accommodate the needs of other people/things, but also I seem to be under the impression that “no” does not exist in the dictionary – a competent person should be able to meet 99% of the demands of life. This is a very high standard, and one I should probably modify.
Another problem also appears to be that I operate differently. I expect that others will only ask me to do something they know will cause me discomfort (of any kind: scheduling, physical strain, inconvenience, etc.), when they absolutely must – why? because I only ask others to do difficult tasks when I can see no other option.
However, I have found this not to be the case — because once I give an inch, they usually take miles.
Well not today.
I’m only going to ask the world for one thing – to stop. Please don’t demand any more of me for just this one day. I’ve handed out all the lemonade I have; I’ve made all the changes to taste, location and color that I can. I’m shutting down operations and I’m walking away. You don’t like to hear “no” and I don’t like saying it, but there it is:
I need to recharge.