There is a section in this book/journaling program I am doing that is called “Crazymakers” and it is scary. What is a crazymaker you ask? According to the Artist Way:
“Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity (you), they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic, but out of control, long on problems, short on solutions. Whenever you have a deadline looming or anything else that needs your full attention- the crazymaker shows up at your doorstep needing your attention and it is always important. Yet, if you need them to return the favor, they will do so, but not without giving you the ‘business’. When you go out for coffee, dinner, lunch etc..they are always short on cash (especially when you are trying to stay on a budget). Crazymakers are the people who call you at midnight or 6am saying “I know you asked me not to call you at this time but….”. Crazymakers are the people who unexpectedly drop by to borrow something you don’t want to lend or cannot find. Even better, they call and ask you to locate something they need…then fail to pick it up. ‘” I know you are on a deadline, I know you are busy…but this will only take a minute.” YOUR minute. ”
Chances are, you already are thinking of somebody who fits this description. And HERE IS THE KICKER…this is probably a person you love dearly. They might be your family, your co-workers, your friends etc. People that you never in a million years would cut out of your life because they are so important to you, but they make you absolutely crazy. When you want to be everything to everybody, people like this will flock to you. And while it is important to help others, you also need to know when to say… ENOUGH. You need to know when to say NO to others and YES to yourself.
This made me think of how I used to be a slave to these so called crazymakers. Though, in these past months I have to admit, I have become a bit selfish. I have broken free from my slavery. Sometimes I look back over the last 5 years (or heck the past 10 years) and wonder how the heck I kept up with the pace I did without having a mental breakdown. I said yes to everything. I tried to be everything to everybody. You want me to go pick up something 30 minutes out of my way when I am on a time crunch? No problem! You need me to come over to your house- even though I am already in bed? Of course! I didn’t make it seem like it was an issue, so why would others think any different?
I worked 40 plus hours at AU, 10-15 hours a week personal training, sometimes babysat on the weekends and I still worked out like mad (I am tired just typing that). My life and my schedule was a well oiled machine. I didn’t have time to think. I just moved constantly. I wasn’t unhappy, I just…was. In the rare moments where I had an hour or sometimes 15 minutes to myself….the “crazymakers” would come calling. Sometimes a little favor here, sometimes a big favor…sometimes it was hours of my precious time that was not even appreciated on the other end. Time they did not realize was so rare to me.
Since giving up many of my personal training clients as well as other things that filled up my schedule, I am in a much different place. But Ironically, even though I have MORE time, I am finding myself to be more selfish with it. My alone time, my time with Shain, my time with family is important. When I have been stretched too thin, I have no problem becoming a hermit and just staying in. I don’t feel like I HAVE to do something all of the time. If saying yes to a social event means I have to rush and not enjoy the moment, I won’t go. I try to plan ahead for these things now- if I know I am going to have a rough week I purposely will not schedule anything over the weekend. But sometimes the rough weeks come unexpectedly. And sometimes it means I have to bow out of things, because I am just not feeling up to it. I will make it up to that loved one over a cup of coffee or lunch and just hope they understand. Sometimes we just need to say “NO” to others more often and “YES” to ourselves. I want to be the person others can count on. I want to be a good friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, aunt, co-worker etc. But I CANNOT be those things when I am not good to myself.
I was told early on in my career to always “say yes” to everything, because that is how you get places. This is true and is much of how I got to where I am… BUT this can be a weakness just as much as a strength. I want to give 110% to every relationship and commitment I have. But do the math…sometimes that is just not possible and you end up driving yourself insane. Say YES to the things that matter, the things that are moving you forward and building relationships. We all have obligations to people who are important to us that we need to fulfill. I am NOT saying you should stop attending every social outing, birthday, family party because you are on a “me time” sabbatical, let’s not get crazy here. We all have to do things we don’t want for the sake of our loved ones and to keep relationships. I am just saying, it wouldn’t hurt to say no every once in a while. People who truly love you, will understand. And if they don’t right now, they will eventually. Just because everyone else is living this fast paced, every minute filled, chaotic life- does not mean you have to.
I have found that when I do take this important time with myself and with God- the rest of the world around me is better off for it. Say YES to YOU.