Saying No

"Keep your promises to yourself." - David Harold Fink
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Lately, I've been feeling unmotivated.  Depressed, maybe.  It's very difficult for me to put my feelings into words.  Part of me wants to hide my emotions because no one wants to deal with someone who is quiet, withdrawn and brooding.

Truthfully, I think my emotional state has more to do with my physical wellbeing than I'd like to admit.  I haven't been exercising regularly.  My nutrition is lacking.  I've failed the Whole30 (again).

The last time I worked out was Saturday night and only because I was so mad at the kids and the Huz for being inconsiderate of my feelings, I left the house without saying a word and the gym was the only place I could think of to go and let off steam.

That Saturday workout was difficult.  I did some cardio on the elliptical and upped the intensity, stupidly thinking it would be the best thing for me.  I was so tired and muddling through it.  Then I realized I missed taking my blood pressure medications and had a moment of hypochondria in which I truly believed I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke.  Irrational, yes.  My mind sometimes goes into overdrive and I worry about every little thing.

I always tell myself that I'm going to do it this time.  I will exercise regularly.  I will eat perfectly, no cheat meals.  I will give up sugar and salty junk foods.  I will do it, I say.  Then I have a setback and manage to convince myself that I'm just not good enough to get healthy.  I believe that I'm destined to be fat and tired and miserable because it's genetic, or I'm just not committed.  Insert pathetic excuse here.

There are days when I'm just too tired to think about anything other than what to make the kids for dinner, or what time I should go to bed to get the most sleep.  Sleep is what I need, I know I don't get nearly enough.  But I have three boys who need me, and a husband who doesn't understand that I'm not a superwoman who can do it all.  That's not to say that he does nothing; he helps...but in my mind, not as much as I think he should. Then again, what if the problem is that I'm reluctant to delegate?  It's often easier to just do it myself because I know it will get done....and correctly.  Maybe I put too much pressure on myself.

There just aren't enough hours in the day to work eight hours, make dinner, read books, clean the house and still have time to relax. It's a struggle just to get the boys up and dressed each morning, let alone myself! I don't know how I survive each day, but I thank God that I do.

I have realized lately that I take on too much.  I haven't learned the art of saying no.  I always feel guilty, as though I'm letting someone down if I admit that I can't do something. I had a revelation the other day when reading a quote by author and educator Alex J. Packer.  He said, "Saying no is the ultimate act of personal control.  When pressured to do something you don't want to do, simply respond with one of these phrases: 'No, thank you.' 'I'd prefer not to.' 'Count me out.' 'No can do.'  Beyond that, you don't owe anyone an explanation."  Granted, Packer was referring to teens and peer pressure, but it resonated with me.

I promise to say no more often.  I promise to stop putting so much pressure on myself.  I promise to take care of myself first.  My emotional and physical health is more important.  If I don't take care of me I can't take care of my family.  Beyond that, I don't owe anyone an explanation.


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