Saturday, 16 November 2013
I am the sort of person that has quite an active social life, who likes to see my friends as much as I can. I also like to keep in touch with my family to the best of my abilities. I have a full time job, which luckily I love. A gym membership I try to use, and a car that, although reliable, needs maintenance and care from time to time. I have debts (although in no way huge) that need paying, as well as the rent, bills, and groceries. I have a fella who likes to spend time with me on a regular basis, and I sometimes have a part time babysitting habit that can be a lifeline as well as a means to keep my cocktail cabinet stocked up.
I also like to class myself as a person who is happy to muck in if the need arises, who can and will help if called to do so. If someone in my life is struggling because they can't get something done or need some assistance, I will often not hesitate to jump right in, even if I am tired or have planned a quiet night in for myself. I am not, as a result, very good at prioritising time to rest, relax and wind down without my active mind finding something to do or something to think about. I cannot have a night in watching my favourite box-sets without finding a chore, or checking my emails, or browsing though Facebook.
I am certain that this inability to relax is not borne from the fact that I hate my own company, as I often like to have time to myself in my little pad. Nor is it due to the fact I have a hyperactivity disorder (well as far as I know). The main reason I have such a busy lifestyle is because there is one word in the English language I have so much trouble saying, and that word is "No."
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a mug, but I am one of those people who have a fear of missing out. If I say "No" to that party invitation, will it be the best party ever? If I turn down that babysitting job, will another girl go, who is less qualified or experienced, who will then walk away with a gigantic tip and be adored by the family forever more. If I say "No" to my loved ones, will I then hurt their feelings and spend the next few weeks shadowed in guilt, saying "Sorry" a million times. If I say "No" to that person who wants my assistance or help, will it then make me a "Very bad person" who is totally selfish and inconsiderate.
Deep down in my heart I know these things won't happen, or that if they do actually occur, there will be other opportunities in the future that will come my way that will allow me to amend myself. But sadly that does not eradicate that fear, the niggle that the "No" will equate the missing out on something that could be really amazing. It does not make one of the shortest words in our vocabulary any more easier to say.
But another thing I have realized is that this problem is in fact quite common, especially in us womenfolk. As a gender we are known for our juggling and multi-tasking. We can hold a conversation on the phone whilst ironing, and usually whilst doing this we can have one eye on the TV or sort of listen to the music playing in the background without it causing a distraction. We can cook a meal for our family or friends, whilst chatting away to them and drinking a well deserved glass of wine. We can read a book whilst running the hoover around or tidying up the mess. We can easily make, and drink, a cup of tea whilst doing the washing up. Also we won't throw a hissy fit if someone is talking to us as we try to park or pull away in the car.
I think in life, us women have to be able to do at least two things at once, or otherwise things would not get done at all! Asking your reluctant fella to do the washing up whilst the football is on would be like getting blood out of a stone! Doing the washing up whilst your favourite TV programme is on, well I am certain we have all done it on more than one occasion. Now I am not taking this opportunity to put down men and their lack of juggling skills, but I am using this as a chance to applaud to us women who have made it an art form. It to us, is as instinctual as breathing. Luckily it comes naturally and we don't even have to think about it. So let's give ourselves a clap. And also whilst we are here I want to give the loudest round of applause, a cheer, and take off my hat, to those women who do it all with children thrown into the mix. I don't have children myself, although I do work with them, so know how challenging they can be. I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, I do not know how you do it, you deserve the biggest medal that there is!