Sounds so easy right? Just say no!
But for people like me, it isn’t easy, not at all! I battle with FOMO, I want to be apart of everything and I want to be everything to everyone. I want to grab every opportunity that comes my way, with both hands and run with it. I want to save the world. I want to encourage everyone to help me.
I feel under pressure almost constantly and my family suffers. And I’ve just been vok-maar-voorting for the last six months or so. Just forging ahead, trying to build something for myself but doing myself and my family huge amounts of harm in the process.
The Wake Up Call
Was when I got into a huge fight with my husband a couple of weeks ago. You see, I never do anything in half measures. I’m an all or nothing kind of person. When I throw myself into a project, I am 150% all in. The last few months, my focus has been on my blog and building my mini-blogging-empire (I am being completely facetious here) and saving all the Pit Bull’s and hosting the best Mother’s Day Connect team all while trying to hold down a job while juggling my roles as a wife and mother and eking out a bit of me time (hahahaha) to go running and horse riding. I want to do it all but…. It’s simply not possible for me to juggle all those balls.
And they all came crashing down about a week ago.
This past weekend, during our #FeelPeugeot escapades, I realised what I’d been doing to myself and, by default to my family. You see, I work ALL the time. Now don’t get me wrong, my blog and content creation is my passion, but I work on it almost every spare moment I have. I work hard at my craft because I love it. I love the creative outlet, I love the creative side of the photography and content creation, I love the sense of community from Facebook and Twitter, I just LOVE it. But it sucks the hours out of every day. I get up early to work, I go to bed late, after working and it’s exhausting. It also steals time away from my family. And then when I take on other projects like charity work, it’s so all consuming that there literally is no space for anything or anyone else.
Somethings got to give.
And it’s not going to be my family or my sanity.
This past weekend, for the first time in months, I took the ENTIRE weekend off. And spent all of it doing fun things with my family.
We went to the rugby, it was the girls first time at a live stadium game and they loved it!
We took a drive out to Hartebeespoort Dam, went up the cablecar and ate lunch at the top of the mountain and then we visited Jasmyn, where I bought flowers, browsed in a book store and perused the farmers market produce.
Somewhere over the course of the weekend, the panic started to set in, that I hadn’t done any work from my content calendar, that I hadn’t edited any photos or done any content creation and I had to keep consciously reminding myself to relax, enjoy and be in the moment because work could wait and this was more of a priority, to be in the moment and enjoy the day out with my family.
It’s really really hard.
Learning to say no…
It’s not easy for me, but I made my husband a promise after our barney a few weeks ago, that I would start saying no to some projects. That I would weight up the reward versus the cost to my family and start turning projects down. It’s not easy. And each time a PR agency has contacted me to ask me to work with them, when it’s been in exchange for a pillow or a soft toy, I say no. I explain the position I find myself in and most of them understand and a lot of them actually respond saying they respect the choice I’ve made. Some of them will still try to push me for free content. But here’s the thing guys, it’s not the content that comes at a cost. If it’s a product I love then I’ve always been happy to create the content when I think it ties in with my blog and with you, my readers. The cost is my time and I have to learn to place more value on that and on myself and ultimately my family.
So things may be a little different round here….
I’ve had to re-prioritise my life and my goals. I’ve had to weight up my value, I’m having to learn to say no and when the no is met with a rebuttal, I’m having to learn to confidently state my worth and what I want out of proposal. It’s hard. I won’t lie. And it can be quite uncomfortable. I’ve had to choose two projects volunteer wise to work on and not take on others, even though my desire to save every child, every animal and every person in need is overwhelming at times. But I feel like it’s so so important for my well being and for the well being of my family.
Ironically all this was cemented my head while driving around in a car on a campaign!
In the words of my wise friend, Maz, I’m taking a damn selfie!