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Time to Breath

"How do you fit it all in? Do you ever sleep?"

These are some of the things I heard every day...and recently I realized that these kinds of comments had become kind of addictive to me. I liked being the woman who could do everything. Mother, wife, writer, teacher, book club organizer, writing club organizer, breakfast duty every day, etc, etc.

The truth was, though, that I was starting to run out of steam. I missed sleep. I was arguing with my husband more. When my children had homework issues, I had less patience. I suddenly didn't want to be the go to person at work. "Leave me alone," I thought. And it surprised me because I liked being that person who has a million and one ideas, that one who can stop what she's doing and do your work instead.

But, I missed doing my work. And I really missed doing my work well. Smart people have been telling me for years that I should stop doing everything and get really good at one or two things. I pooh-poohed them because I thought I was really good at doing everything.

This week I am making myself step back and say no in order to give myself room to breath and be really good at one or two things instead. I gave up two freelance writing gigs despite the money. I cut down on a third. I told work that my schedule needed to be more balanced--luckily I work with an amazing person who completely gets it. I don't know how I'll ever slow my family down, but I've got some ideas.

And so, this morning, I have time--with a cup of coffee--to write a slice of life alone on the couch before everyone wakes up.  And that, as Frost wrote, has made all the difference.

Comments

  1. We are so much alike. I get it. Empty nest has helped me somewhat slow down, but I am still trying to do everything. It's hard to make choices when they are all good. I am tipping my coffee mug to you this morning.

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  2. It is hard to give up control over everything but well worth it in the end.

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  3. I've said "no" to a lot of things over there years. Perhaps I'm not as busy as other people, but I'm pretty happy. Once you get over the fear of missing out, you will become eternally content with your decision to do less.

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  4. Kimberley, this post really spoke to me. I strive to do everything... to be everything to everyone. It is really wearing on me, and I, too, need to find or two things to focus on and say no to everything else.

    Beautifully written - love the ending line.

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  5. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/

    I hope that the coming weeks provide more time for you to focus and "have it all"

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  6. I am with you...loved that you brought Frost into the slice!

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  7. Such a wise post! We CAN'T do it all and do it all well! I'm usually pretty good at balancing things, but when I can tell when I've let it get out of control - I lose motivation and good will! ;-) I, too, love the Frost line!!

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