I was frustrated, anxious, irritated that people had increasing expectations of me. In reality though, I thought I was frustrated that they don’t see beyond their urgent need, or desire. But I was more upset with me for not speaking up kindly and clearly.
I wanted someone to defend my time, to preserve my energy. Just to realize (remember actually) that I am responsible for my own boundaries. And nobody will step in to clarify them. I am not only allowed to say no. I am responsible to do so, to keep the balance of my world and that around me. The truth about my limits lies within me.
Those who are doers, serving souls, active people in society, in 2022 they have pushed themselves beyond reasonable strength. Pulling back is disappointing to others. But the rhythm we embraced in 2022 is not sustainable. We’ll miss out on some great things in 2023. Projects and events we could shine in, could do great work have a great impact. BUT. We are not called to do it ALL.
My decision to not resent my friends helped me take a step back and understand it is nobody’s fault that I’m to busy.
Two years ago I was resenting my family for needing me too much, for being clingy. It took some discipline and clarified boundaries, and a few months of healing, and then I realized my family was just normal. And I am just fine. I still have to watch for the signs of burnout. The path has been paved. I can easily slide on it or recognize it easily. Two opposite options.
I had to hit rock bottom and have an anxiety attack. Counterbalance is tricky business. Remaining steady instead of going in the extreme opposite, saying no to EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING is clearly not good. I’d have to eventually come out if that as well.
But… it took us a year to get here. It will take us a year to get out. To truly reset. Slowly, taking things off our plate with discernment.
My biggest sin is irritation, and a moody mood without any regard to other people’s feelings. I reel myself back into self awareness and empathy as I devise I’ll say no to a few things at a time. Or decline invitations. Christmas is around the corner. In a few minutes I go to the kindergarten event to do a craft with ivy and watch her dance, right after I pick Jackie up to take her to her clarinet exam. And then back to ivy to pick her up from kindergarten. Conrad is home, feeling sick. His stomach is in aching and I’m worried for him. No ache is just an ache. It comes with the fear of terminal illnesses. His immune system is compromised. The last year I have lived in a silent fear of death. It’s traumatizing for both of us. But we pursue the Truth, the hope beyond this world, the grace of God to still be present and enjoy life as is, with our daughters and each other. It’s not easy sometimes.