Monday Musings #6; Cutting Back and Saying “No”.

Life can have a funny way of showing you that, perhaps, you are overexerting yourself. Lately I felt that, maybe, this was the case for myself. I am a busy bee, I have an office day job, two blogs to maintain, novels to write, am a caring boyfriend, and I have a band on the side. I often got the question: “How do you do it?” Well, most of the time I do all of these things without thinking too much about it. I jot down a daily To-Do and then do the things on my list and look back fulfilled that I once again managed to write down the things that are most important to me and actually do them. Writing doable To-Do lists is a skill I acquired over the years and it’s all about being honest with yourself and asking yourself this question: Is this manageable in the time I have today?
Well, most of the time it is, but now, in all inevitability I found myself needing to cut back in order to guard myself against myself.

Hitting the brakes in time

A lot of people don’t seem to be aware of just how hard they’re making things for themselves and end up with a burnout. I’m glad I haven’t ever had the experience of a true burnout, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt burned out. Last week was a particularly bad week for me, with things at work not going the way I wanted them to and all the other things just seemed a bit too much to handle. My idea was always that whenever things are good at work, or at home, you can handle it when things don’t go too well at one of these two. But when you have this feeling that you’re like a taco; you’re trying real hard to keep things together, but you’ll break as soon as something takes a bite out of you and everything seems to become a huge mess, well, then it’s time to hit the brakes 😉

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Deciding where your priorities lie

After acknowledging that I was doing too much to handle, I started thinking what the things were I could “drop” in order to lighten my load and make things more manageable. For one; one of my goals was to write an article on my blog every day and to also write 500 words on my novel. But lately I found that writing for my blog somehow relieves me of stress, maybe because I can write about whichever subject I want to, every day. So, I decided to just take everything down a notch and not force myself to write on my novel for a bit. I still do, but at a more enjoyable pace.

One other source of stress that I’ve put on hold for a little bit is my band. Lately I found that I was cancelling going to band practice a little more than I used to and when I did join the guys, I found it extremely hard to come up with lyrics and vocal lines. Upon some further reflection, I found that this was giving me quite some stress. I decided to send the boys a message to explain this to them, mostly because I know it’s not fair to them. I can’t be the best vocalist I can be for them at this moment. They all reacted in a manner that I could really appreciate, with understanding and that I need to take my time to decide what I really want. Which is exactly what I’m going to do.

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We also cancelled all our appointments for the weekend, so we could just do whatever we wanted and really relax as much as possible. Saying “No” can be hard, but sometimes you need to, because you should always value your own health and well-being as your number one priority!

I hope the dust will settle a little bit in the coming weeks. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m glad I hit the brake when I did. Peace of mind is a precious thing and you need to guard yourself when things don’t go the way you want them to.

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey

2 replies »

  1. Jeffrey, “Cutting Back & Saying No” is a good approach & attitude after the difficult week you had at work last week. And only you can make those calls re where to cut back. –Only reactions here & no advice….except for your line #2 above & “a caring boyfriend” which, no doubt, should be “girlfriend Bren. Those guys in the band are real friends to understand & give you some space & time. I don’t know how you fit the band in too on top of everything else. My only reaction is that time spent with the band might be a good release from all else you do plus feed your creative side & juices. Think about that. Backing off your 500 words per day on your novel sounds wise…maybe have certain days per week set aside for that. And as far as blogging & getting a release each day writing on the subject of your choice, my reaction is that may be a hidden pressure on you on top of everything else. Maybe let the blog posts float to “X”: number of times per week when the spirit moves you. If your novel writing can slow up, then maybe slow everything up along with it. Then see what floats to the top….maybe that author in you & writing for your novel….&, of course, time for Bren. Nice to see what Bren started posting about herself on The Book Dragon’s Nook! What I’m hearing from you is to go with the flow more & be less programmed… from your 6 minute diary to your goals, to how many books to read a year….Take it easier….now make it all more livable….You have Bren to live for to share your life, not your leftovers. Phil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Phil! I appreciate you taking time to come up with a response once more! 🙂 You are right about a lot of things and I am carefully watching what is important to me. I agree, I don’t have to post a blog article every day, if I don’t want to, but so far it’s been a great release for me to write something every day and share my thoughts with people willing to read them. The good thing is seeing that I needed to take a few steps back. Perhaps I will find out I might even have to take a few more back. Who knows 🙂 If I won’t safeguard myself, I know Bren will always be there to show me I’m going too fast for myself. 🙂 She did so on Tuesday last week, when I was really down in the dumps for a bit. Despite her depression she was there for me, amazing! ~Jeffrey

      Liked by 1 person

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