My decision to be more kind to myself is in full force. I'm saying "No!" quite often and feeling much better because of it.
Stress almost did me in last school year. I had completely overextended myself, and then, in typical "Southern girl" mentality, felt too guilty to back out. All of that resulted in resentment and anger sucking the joy out of everything; and in stress-related illnesses.
I've made a few--okay, a lot--of people angry by saying no. Those who know me well and understand, are okay with it. Most people are just shocked. The ones who are angry can get over it. Or not. (Do you know how hard that is to say for a people pleaser?!)
I'm no longer leading or assisting with after school activities; not allowing my children to join every club that comes along; no volunteering my time, nor being drafted. No is such a fabulous word! I only wish I'd used it more often in the past.
Of course, we're still involved in Scouts, choir, orchestra and church groups. But I'm mom this year; not den leader, teacher, organizer. It feels great! My boys are my focus in the activities they're pursuing; and they love it.
I'm a mother, a wife, a writer; and the only way I can do those jobs is to take care of myself. A friend recently made a statement that stuck with me.
"These young families are so busy running from one activity to another. Slow down and breathe. Enjoy being together, not rushing from one activity to another."
Just breathe. I can do that.