This last few months has been an experiment for me. I wanted to see if I could manage working a fairly demanding job that requires travel, returning to school two nights a week, and my personal life as wife, mom, sister and friend.
The answer, now that my semester is drawing to an end in the next few weeks? It’s complicated.
On the positive side, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I haven’t lost so many brain cells to parenting that I’m not capable of handling college coursework anymore.
I’ve learned that my husband is an absolutely AMAZING dad, so if I get hit by a bus, he’d be completely capable of pulling off the single dad routine.
I’ve also learned that I have physical, emotional and mental limits, because I have most definitely hit them, particularly the last month or two.
I’ve always known I was a people-pleaser. Comes with the territory of being a perfectionist, first-born daughter. I’ve learned that as hard as it is for me to tell people “No,” when I’m strong, rested and confident; it’s even harder for me to do when I’m exhausted, sick, and anxious.
It’s that last piece of learning that got me into some situations that were potentially hazardous to my health a couple of times in the last few weeks. I had the stunning realization last week that if I don’t stop following in my mom’s “take care of everyone but yourself” footsteps, I’m going to follow them right into the grave with her. That’s a sobering thought.
So there will be a lot more “No” in my future.
I am currently in the eye of the storm: a brief quiet period in between the manic travel and schoolwork and work projects of the last month, and the chaos and rush of the holidays. It’s the kind of quiet time when you can actually look at your life and recognize the crossroads in front of you.
Something has to change. Some things have to change. And the first thing, is me.