“You can’t pour from an empty cup!”
Oh, we try though, don’t we? We make so many plans. We fill our diaries with all sorts of social events and hobbies and time with our partners and time with our children and meetings in work and making the food and cooking the meals and so on and so forth until one day we break.
You know the breaking point, right? We’ve all been there. For some it’s sobbing into clenched fists, or maybe it’s just a fit of rage at the most insignificant things, or it’s simply just switching off and staring at the wall whilst your dinner burns silently on the hob…
Let this year be the year you set your boundaries and say no more.
“No, I don’t want to go for coffee. Thank you for offering though.”
“No, I don’t want to come out tonight. I’ve changed my mind.”
“No, I really don’t want to cook dinner tonight. Let’s order in.”
The liberty of saying no! Because – guess what? You’re fucking allowed to change your mind. You’re allowed to cancel plans. You’re allowed to do whatever you want to do in order to prioritise your happiness and, sometimes, it comes down to simplifying your life, drawing your boundaries, and stop giving of yourself to everything.
Invest your energy wisely. If you’re out there doing everything and trying to invest yourself in all that is going on, you’re only giving 10% here, another 20% there, and another 5% to something else. There’s a real beauty in simplifying your life.
Decide to say yes to the things that will give a little back to you, that will bring you joy, and things that you love. Say no to the things that you do out of a sense of duty, or you feel guilty, or you feel like you have to do it. Bring the choice back to your decisions and realise you don’t have to say yes to everything. When you do this, your life may start feeling less chaotic. You start choosing things that you genuinely want to do and, as such, your investment in things starts to increase. You stop spreading yourself so thin and realise that you have the energy to give 100% to things.
It’s also not just the activities we fill our lives with that can drain us, it’s people. There are many people in our lives that ask for our attention and, being the good friends, sisters, aunties, mothers, etc, that we are, we want to be there for everyone. However, please remember that it is not your repsonsibility to keep everyone else happy. People need to find their own happiness and, of course, you can help them but ultimately the responsibility lies with them and their choices. It’s OK to say to a friend “I would really love to help you but I’m feeling very tired right now. I’ve had a difficult day and I won’t be able to give you all the attention you deserve. Perhaps we can talk tomorrow? Then I can really give you all of me, listen to you, and help you in a much better way.”
The truth is that you exhausting yourself doesn’t help anyone. The world – your world, and the people in it – need you on fire, not burning out.
Let 2019 be the year where we draw our boundaries and invest our energy wisely.