I’m a perfectionist…and that’s a problem when you are trying to be perfect in many areas. Admittedly, I’m a work in progress. Now, I try not to beat myself up if it wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be.
One of my barriers has been over commitment. Last August, I set a new goal for myself. (I don’t do resolutions at the start of the new year. I set goals throughout the year as needed.) I decided to reevaluate all of my commitments and eliminate some. I also decided I was going to work on saying no and not changing that no to a yes when new opportunities were presented.
Because I have perfectionist tendencies, I strive to do everything I am involved in at a high level and at 100%. It’s hard to consistently give 100% when you do not have the time. Last school year, I found myself, multiple days a week, attending two-three meetings after work for various committees and organizations I was involved in. I was also trying to balance being a good Christian, wife, mom, daughter, auntie, and friend. Not to mention writing, working at IUPUI, taking graduate courses at Marian University, and being an avid gardener. I was always on the go and hardly had to time just to breathe and take time for myself. Everything was scheduled and downtime didn’t fit. I didn’t like who I was becoming and I didn’t want the prevailing image my children had was of mom rushing out the door.
The first action I took, which was extremely difficult for me, was to request a replacement for the course Psycholinguistics for Reading Teachers K-12, I had taught at IUPUI for five years. I have a replacement and this is my last semester teaching the course for now. I love teaching at IUPUI, but I decided I needed to take a break.
Then, I informed an organization I was no longer going to be able to continue to commit my time to work with them. My heart wasn’t in it.
My heartstrings pull me into saying yes when I need to say no. When children of color are involved or people in impoverished situations need help, I want to help them. A mentor told me, “It doesn’t always have to be you. If you don’t have the time, but think it is a good cause then recommended someone else the person or organization should reach out to.”
This year, I have been less stressed and have had more time…but now I have some decisions to make. I know in the next few days or weeks, I have to make a decision about employment, participating in a couple of organizations who have been reaching out to me, and whether I’m going to enter another program.
I remind myself of these four things when making a decision:
- You can’t do everything well when you don’t have time.
- No obligation should get in the way of family.
- Only say yes if this opportunity will add value to your life and the life of others.
- Say no and stick to it.
In a few weeks, once I work out all that racing through my mind, I’ll be back with an update about my decisions.