Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Knowing Your Limits

I haven't posted in a long time because I've barely been keeping my head above water. I have been happily engaged in a number of activities which singly would have been awesome, but together have just about done me in.

Thing is, it wasn't much stuff at all.

But, it somehow managed to be TOO much stuff anyway.

And, as usual, it's fodder for my stream-of-consciousness thinking here.

So, how do you know what is too much for yourself? Or, when to say 'when'?

My problem is, all the stuff is GOOD stuff. All of it worthwhile and valuable. But more than that, I can honestly say pride plays a big role in my willingness to take on that one-too-many thing. I see many friends who appear to do way more than me (of course, what goes on behind closed doors I'm not privy to,) but still, they seem to be able to do it all. And I would like to appear that way too. Except I don't seem to have any closed doors. All my insanity seems to happen on a public stage. I can't appear to do it all, while privately having a nervous breakdown. Oh now, I just fall apart in front of everyone. Nice.

Then again, maybe it is nice. Keeps me real, right? What you see with me is definitely what you get. I am what I am. I is what I is. And all that.

Ok, so I've accepted that everyone has a different invisible line at which point our internal line-sensors say STOP! DO NOT ACCEPT ONE MORE TASK/RESPONSIBILITY! I know where mine is, I can almost always identify it by that sinking feeling in my stomach when someone asks me to do something.

What I'm not sure how to do, is to actually say NO, because saying no would be admitting (before the public display ensues) that I am not capable and we all know I am highly capable. At least, mostly. Particularly if there isn't already a whole line-up of things on my to-do list before you ask me. Oh yes, I am capable, and willing, but only if I have not yet crossed my imaginary TOO MANY THINGS line.

This last time this happened, I felt the line zap me as I crossed over it, like an invisible electric fence. Except I just ignored it and said YES anyway. Too bad I did, since a few days later I was reduced to tears, subjected myself to that public display I alluded to earlier and failed to produce the thing I was supposed to anyway. So I might as well have paid attention to my line and said NO and I wouldn't have embarassed myself and all would be well.

Except maybe my pride wouldn't have survived. But did it, anyway? In a way, yes. Because I did TRY, right? Will I be able to feel good about myself if I don't even try? If I just say NO because I feel I might cross my line?

I don't know. But I think it's high time I tried. I've got to find my sense of pride in something else rather than in being everyone's Girl Friday, because honestly? I suck at that job.

So, I'm learning to know my limits AND to be willing to honor them. Do you? Know your limits? Stick to them? Good for you, if you do. Care to share how you manage?