Sunday, 1 July 2012

Just say no

I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. Last night I ended up at work until 12.30am and went back for another all day shift today. And have to go back tomorrow. I know I wanted a job, but this is a shock to the system! However, I have finally stopped getting stomach cramps before work and driving, so immersing myself in stressful situations seems to be working.

I did want a job, and do need the money, but don’t like not being in control of when I’m free. I’m a total control freak in other words, and a chronic people pleaser. I don’t like saying no to people in case they think I’m a bad friend, bad girlfriend, bad employee, bad horse owner, bad person in general. I just always have a fear of not being good enough.

Since starting uni, I’ve always tried to do everything. I’m fantastic at juggling and like to think I have my work/life balance sussed. However, I’ve come to realise that sometimes, the very work involved in trying to keep this balance throws it all out of whack and just makes everything more stressful.
To put this into some sort of perspective, here is a list of things I want to and have to do this week:

-Work for placement
-Work on my blog
-Work on my creative writing
-See my horse and ride
-See Marc
-See my friends for coffee
-Go to the gym
-Go running
-Get my hair done
-Go for drinks with a girl I made friends with at work
-Do my nails
-Re-watch Easy A and Mean Girls
-Read Drive and start on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Now there is my problem. I’m working 17 hours this week and most of those things are pretty time consuming. The only way round this is to pick the things that have to be done, in this case, work and placement. Then plan everything else around it. Now as technically I don’t have a weekend with work and all, I want to spend two days with Marc, so as I’ll already be out of town, I can go to his after and spend the next day with him and spend time with him. I may get to see him another day this week, but I need to find out when he is working too.

So then the least time consuming things like my horse and my writing. Well I do them around the big things. They’re responsibilities, but they’re also enjoyable and still ‘me time.’ I go for drinks with the girl from work because it will be fun and different and I don’t know when we will next have the same night off. My other friends, I was meant to be seeing tomorrow, but my work rota changed. So there’s the thing that scares me: That I have to say no.

I know I don’t make enough time for them, but I also know that now we’re all doing different things, it’s always going to be difficult and as friends, they’ll understand. We all have plans for someone’s birthday next week anyway, so I’ll get to see them then. They won’t think any less of me, they won’t hate me and bitch about me or never speak to me again, they have had to cancel at various times in our friendship, so me doing it won’t hurt anyone.

So as for the little things like my hair, nails and reading, they will still get done. My hair appointment is booked so I can’t rearrange because I did last time, and I think it’s massively important for everyone to take even just ten minutes to unwind with a cuppa and a book, or some music and a bottle of nail varnish. Or for any male readers, some Call of Duty or whatever men do when alone. (After four years, Marc is still often a mystery!)

So if you find yourself with a list like mine and struggling to manage or make time for yourself, say no before you make yourself ill, even if it’s just fifteen minutes or so to sit with a coffee. The world will not end if you do.

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