Saturday, 1 November 2014

Doing Too Much

Thank you to all those who commented on my previous post.  After a week off school I am now feeling more relaxed and on top of things.  I've been thinking about why I got myself into such a state: it's because I always end up taking on too much,  It's a mistake I make again and again. I agree to do things too easily, without thinking of the consequences for me and the rest of the family.  A recent example was editing our school magazine,  a demanding task which I ended up doing in evenings and at the weekend, snapping at anyone who interrupted me.  It has now been printed and distributed and I am pleased with the results.  But was it worth the collateral damage to my mental health and relationships at home?

This week there's been another example.  In the summer I was offered the opportunity to host a Boden clothes party.  I like Boden clothes - pricey but good quality - and I have bought a few items recently. So when the email arrived, I signed up for it and was offered a date in half term.  I liked the idea of hosting an all female party and trying on the clothes.  Of course, I didn't consider the downside - the huge effort required to set up all the clothes and pack them away again.  Did I enjoy it? Yes - it was lovely seeing my friends and I quite enjoyed transforming our living room into a clothes shop. Yet it really wasn't lot of fun getting up early yesterday morning to pack it all away. My daughter helped - she set up and put away the accessories you can see below.  But, because I was so busy, I got stressed and snappy with her again and angry words were exchanged; too many fluctuating hormones in our house at present.

I read this article in the press recently about happiness. I meant to cut it out and try to get hold of the book it was promoting but the paper got recycled. If anyone knows the book I am talking about, please tell me.  The basic idea was this: you conduct a happiness audit.  Write down all the things you do - work and leisure activities - and how long you spend and then award a score out of 10 for each activity according to how happy it makes you feel. I'm planning to this for the next month.  I hope I will be able to break the 'doing too much' habit and spend more time on what I really enjoy.  Now I am going to stop blogging and go for a walk, one thing that does make me happy - it's a beautiful autumn morning.

PS - Camera playing up. Photos not uploading.  No pics of Boden party pics then.  Am I going to waste precious daylight hours struggling with technology? No  - will walk dog instead. Here's a picture of us on my birthday in July when we found a Gruffalo on a walk in Delamere forest.  He knows how to be happy and doesn't do too much ( the dog, not the Gruffalo.)




14 comments:

  1. Over commitment is the bane of modern living, I think. I know I say yes too much and end up at a stand still. I try now to make sure I build in quiet time and space.
    I'm glad you're ok, and look after yourself. Thishalf term is too busy at home and school!

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  2. My mum, who has given me lots of good advice over the years, recently said to me, (as I was once again finding it hard to say no to a raft of requests from various people ) "Why clutter your life with unnecessary commitments?" It really rang true with me, and I am trying had to remember her words when I am tempted to overload myself. It seems to be something many adult women do, who knows why, we all find it hard to say 'No' X

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    1. Once my mother told me that I did too much washing. At home when we were kids the washing machine only came out on Saturdays and we'd have just two clean school shirts a week. Did we smell? Possibly. But she was right - I am a slave to the laundry basket which constantly refills itself with not really that dirty clothes. I'm trying to train my daughter to think again before chucking clothes in there. And yesterday when we had a serious conversation about what she could do to help me (she'd read my last blog post), she agreed to take responsibility for the laundry Sounds good, though will wait to see what happens. Wish I still had my mum to give me good advice like yours does.

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  3. I am not good at saying no, I always think I can fit in a little more. Much to the detriment of my happiness, and that of my family. I often speak harsh words with my children when the problem really lies with me and my thousand and one commitments. I am glad went for a walk rather than trying to upload the new photos. I love the photo of you, your dog and the Gruffalo. I am really looking forward to walking our puppy! He went outside for the first time today and was beside himself with excitement. Have a lovely Sunday. xx

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    1. It's good to know I am not alone, Christina. You will love dog walking It's often my favourite part of the day. I find I end up talking to strangers when walking the dog. It's difficult not to engage in conversation when your dog is sniffing their dog's bottom!

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  4. I feel your pain on the saying yes, when possibly meaning no. I am famous for it, and I suspect there are members of my family that take advantage of it (for example ringing me up at 9pm, and asking if I could rustle up some brownies to be picked up at 7.30 the next morning. And yes I did it. And yes I snapped at Sam while doing it).
    Is it a woman thing?
    Leanne xx

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  5. If the comments here are anything to go by Leanne, it is a woman thing. In November I am going to work hard on saying no more often. I'd probably be making the brownies in this situation too if asked - feeling cross but kind of pleased to be asked at the same.

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  6. Glad you are feeling more in control of things. We put ourselves under so much pressure. Have you noticed now the normal response to "How are you?" is "Busy". I think we all need to relearn how to be busy doing nothing.

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  7. Hi, thanks for your comment on my 'up the lane' post. I've done a few visits to place each season on my blog (I have a full set for Coombes Valley I think, there's a label for those - RSPB Coombes Valley). It's lovely to see places throughout the seasons. I take a monthly tree photo too and then put them into a collage at the end of the year!

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and more on top of things after half term. Life is so busy, it can be hard to find a balance and keep on top of everything.

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    1. P.S. - I forgot to say, I love the Gruffalo picture! I hoped to make it Delamere to see that but didn't. I did meet a different Gruffalo sculpture whilst were on holiday in August though!

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  8. Hi Doris, just found you whikst blog hopping and felt I had to reply. I completely understand that feeling off it all being too much. I am terrible for over committing. Usually social type things and then inevitably I end up canceling, and then I worry that people are upset with me. If I say no in the first place then I feel like I'm being boring! You just can't win can you. Having said that, I get a lot more done when I'm busy, but I suppose it comes at a cost - feeling overtired at the end of it, being manic busy is not sustainable.
    Love the gruffalo pic, my girls would love to see that!
    Stay strong, finding the balance is not easy xxx

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  9. Last year I decided that I had to stop saying yes and start saying no. It worked in a certain way in that I definitely stopped doing some things - by stepping down from committees and so on - but of course then I had more time to do other things. It is a hard thing to balance, but I hope that in time you will find the right way for you. Being aware of it is the first step so now I am sure that it will become easier as the months pass. Keep taking care of yourself and I hope that you enjoyed your walk. xx

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  10. It seems to be a common complaint that we have - trying to do too much. No matter how much we like to think we can do everything, we really can't. My sister's motto is that if you want something done you should ask a busy person. That's because she's one of the few people I know who doesn't suffer from this trying-to-do-too-much problem.

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  11. Haha, love the photo, Doris!
    It seems to be an (Western?) affliction, this doing too much. I know I suffer from it, pay the price, and then need to spend time mending (resting, turning off tv, computer and whatnot).

    I must say that after experiencing burnout a couple of years ago, I am finding it surprisingly easier and easier to say no (without feeling guilty - which is key). It's a sad thought that it took a burnout to teach me that, isn't it, but that's life. All the best there, glad you're feeling more on top of things. xxx

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