This is something that I continue to struggle with, and I must admit, I do admire the way my sister, RG, has always managed to clearly articulate her limits.
The problem with pushing yourself beyond your limits, is that you can become frustrated and agitated towards the very people you were trying to please by extending yourself.
Having my girls has meant that I can take breaks for myself in a much more authentic and reasonable manner.
Instead of forcing myself to go out, and then needing to sit for a rest break quite frequently, I can turn these rest breaks into ways of connecting with my girls. Sometimes MJ and I go through the alphabet, other times we go through all the colours of the dresses in the shops nearby. Or we notice the colours of cars, people’s tops, or the type of pets.
Having daughters means that my failings never have to be explained. MJ doesn’t notice that I’m siting again, or that we are spending a lot of time laying on the bed reading this morning – because anytime spent together is valued.
So, I will try and translate that in to my adult life, and instead of forcing myself to go out and do something I’m not up to doing, I will have a long phone chat instead, or invite those friends over and sit and chat to them on the couch, without worrying about the state of my house. I’m sure that my friends, like my daughters, only notice my conversation and the time we are spending together.
That is something that I am learning….and, as a literary heroine of mine has put it:
“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.” ― Sylvia Plath
from Sylvia Plath’s The Unabridged Journals (2000)