A guest post by Becky Lukovic.
Why is it that when I am the most over-committed, I get the least done? Why do my wheels spin when my gas pedal is to the floor? Tick-tock—tick-tock. That’s how the clock is supposed to go….with a perfect cadence…like sands through the hour-glass (so are the Days of Our Lives)…..only…..my clock whirrs around like the hands of the electric meter in high summertime….going around and around at light speed. I just can’t seem to catch up with my own life.
Tick-tock-tick-tock. I run frantically from one project to another…from meeting to errands….to cocktails with a distraught friend….to an urgent phone call from my client….to the house…checking the email just one more time. Rinse and Repeat. Everything seems half done…just started…almost completed. I am so overcommitted….but somehow, it’s glorious.
I swoop down like Superman…ready to save the day….to take charge….to give ideas and checklists….yes, we must have the checklists…. I have an innate need to rescue….not just kitties and puppies, but not-for-profits needing an extra hand, boards who need another voice, tasks that need to be done, wine that desperately needs opening…. Rescue 911 that’s me.
The Man mentioned rescuing is considered an unhealthy emotional behavior – that I should neither want to rescue nor be rescued. But if I am in a jam, I need a rescuer extraordinaire–a McGuyver with his bag of tricks…James Bond running through the door….Han Solo….yes, I want to be rescued by Han Solo…sigh…. Why can’t I rescue with a good conscience?? Why can’t I leave a legacy of helping??
The problem is, with my over-commitment, I am doing lots of running, but little actual helping.
For me, there is no difficulty in saying “no.” It just seems that I don’t want to. No is such a “final” word…a negative word….a word two year-olds say to avoid eating their peas. I try to improve…really…but the moment the oft practiced phrase, “Let me think about it” leaves my mouth, I know I am sunk….that I am yet again committed. How am I going to say NO after I had just given them a “maybe?” It’s like saying to a date, “call me sometime and we’ll see” and then having to tell them to “STOP calling me!” All of my excuses scream lame! Lame! LAME the exact moment they escape my lips. Lame! What I really want them to hear is, “Becky is so wonderful – we must adore her.” I feel like they can see right through me if I say “no”—if I tell them that I really just want to sit on my couch and watch another episode of Burn Notice. But just like the box of Ding Dongs that tempts me from afar, the desire to be needed beckons…tempts…calls out to me. It’s an addiction and it’s getting out of control.
How do I choose?? How do I pick the puppies staring at me from behind the glass, pressing their little wet noses close to me?? How can I balance the need to be adored, revered and loved (read worship) with the need to spend adequate couch time with The Man?? How do I pitch-in and give some real, productive help while keeping my time boundaries?? I could say no to everything for a time (been there, done that), meh…. I could cancel all of my current obligations and re-evaluate (been there, done that)…meh…. Maybe the journey to having a healthy commitment level is to set up solid time boundaries. Instead of getting the time that is leftover to reconnect and to recharge, give myself some priority time, don’t even look at the new puppies in the window….and not feel guilty in taking a whole day with nothing to do but a Molly Ringwald movie marathon. Maybe…
[box border=”full”]Becky Pruitt-Lukovic is the owner of Bella Event and Travel Planning. She is the mom of two and step-mom of four (think Brady Bunch and you have her family). Becky is President of Helping Her Heal, a local grass-roots organization helping women diagnosed with female cancers. Cooking, chocolate, and wine are her passions along with all things shiny, sparkly and fabulous. You can read her blog at www.divorced-diva.blogspot.com. Be on the lookout for her new blog, Introducing HRH, the Princess of Argyle coming in January.[/box]
// Photo Credit: juliaf