you can’t please everyone…

I’m coming to realize that one of my greatest weaknesses is trying to please everyone.  I have a very terribly hard time saying no.  I agonize over the fact that I might be letting someone down by something I do or say.  And lately this impulse… this attempt to please multiple people at once… has led me to double book myself, or try to fit too many things in a day when the problem would have been solved with better planning, a few no’s, and being honest about the fact that I can’t do something right this minute… but that I could possibly get to it later.

There was a conversation I had with my friend, Anna, not so terribly long ago, where we lamented the fact that we wanted to be superwomen.  We wanted to have careers… but we also wanted to be moms.  We wanted to be successful women and give our all to our vocation and yet still have time for ourselves and our husbands. And there was this twinge of guilt over the fact that maybe to have it all, we have to give up the very thing that we have been working so hard towards for the past 20-some years of our lives.  Maybe to have the family and simplicity and well-balanced self, we really couldn’t have the jobs we had been chasing after.

Can we do it all?  Can we make everyone happy?  Can we be successful at our work and also be there for our spouses?  Is it possible? 

Today is a day when I think that the answer is no.  Today is one of those days when I’m really glad that I’m not on the fast track to success, because, sheesh, my family would be left behind in the dust.

Just this afternoon, I have tried to balance time with friends, exercise, food, and going to a family funeral visitation into one four hour block.

And I realized that it wasn’t possible.  And no matter how much I tried to justify one thing or another, the simple fact was that all of those things were good things.  To skip any of them would be letting someone down – myself, my support network, those people I am supposed to be support to… A choice had to be made.  And I really did try for about 2 hours to figure out how I could get them all fit in.  And something had to go.

It’s silly that I agonize over these things.  It’s silly that I am so completely indecisive about what choice is the best.  Sometimes it is because I really have been disorganized and planned poorly.  But other times, it is because I am blessed with too many choices.  Blessed with too many people to spend time with.  Blessed with work that I love and hobbies that I love.  And a choice has to be made between two good things sometimes. And I need to learn to just be okay with that and know that I’m doing the best I can.

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