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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: Stretching Yourself Thin

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stretching Yourself Thin


I’m have this really terrible problem.  Don’t laugh.  I love too many things that I do. 

It’s a terrible problem because having things in my life that I’m good at and are passionate for means that I’m often feeling stretched thin.  Life, by its very nature, is a precarious balancing act.  I don’t know how it is for my husband (he has a wife who takes care of most things) but for me, I have a lot of roles to fill and often find that it’s a challenge to constantly meet the expectations of others, let alone the ones I set for myself.

At work, I’ve been (unbeknownst to me) put in charge of helping train new people.  This came about because a number of new employees mentioned that they appreciated the help I was able to give them during training and my fellow employees voiced my proficiency.  I have a lot of experience training at previous jobs, so it’s not a bother to me, except when I get terribly ill and miss 2 weeks of work while I’m supposed to be training someone. 

In my private life, I have a number of professional groups I have joined.  These are mainly forum type places to “meet” other techs and learn and share and talk about work.  I had no idea that I would be asked to become an administrator of one of the groups… Of course that has lead to my desire to help further the group and has, thus, added to some of the tasks I have taken on in my free time.  I don’t mind this at all, I rather enjoy it, but it makes it challenging to add more to my plate at times.  Luckily, the other two admins do not expect, nor require, me to complete any of these tasks in a specific time frame.  That’s the nice part of being an admin to a wonderful, but fairly informal group. 

But when you start to add that to my everyday roles of dog training/nanny, house keeper, personal chef, gardener, and life organizer, it can be challenging to not feel spread thin.

Sadly, I was in the process of becoming more active in a state level professional organization and ended up having to decline the position.  Luckily, they were very understanding and it’s unlikely to have negative impacts on my future with them.  But it goes to show that I LOVE too many things to be of any good to anyone.

I think I’m incredibly fortunate, not to mention extremely flattered, to have people interested in what I can offer.  I really wish I could do more, but one of the very valuable life lessons I have come to learn in recent years is that good intentions do not replace good actions.  Being over committed and unable to produce results is not only damaging to your personal stress level, but can be damaging to others.  It may not result in their personal injury, but when others are relying on you, it can hurt them if you fail to follow through.  My problem is that I never failed to follow through, even if it killed me.  But it didn’t make me very good company to my husband, friends or the people I was committed to. 
I’ve made strides to decrease the level of thinness I have been spread.  By all means, it’s still quite thin by normal standards, but it’s manageable for me since many of the things I’ve committed to have no deadlines (such as this blog).  But it can still be a source of stress for me when I feel the need to give people what they want, but don’t have the time or inclination to do so.  Learning to say no is something I have been working extremely hard to do… But it’s not always that easy. 



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1 Comments:

Blogger Jamie said...

Learning to say no is crucial BUT it is awesome that you have found so many places that you fit in.

October 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM  

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