Thursday, April 10, 2008

Confessions of an Overachiever

I have officially stretched myself to the max. After all my musings about time management, saying "no" to certain obligations, and balance, I have gone against all my suggestions and am thus at my tipping point.

How did I lose the balance in my life and time that I was so close to attaining? When I said "yes" to not 1, but 4 new voice students at our local private school. I feel I am a talented musician, but am not prepared to share my knowledge with four students. I currently have 3 different sources of income. Taking on 4 students seemed the best way to make extra money. But because I am essentially teaching myself how to teach others, I realized (last night in a moment of terror at the realization of what I have gotten myself into) that this would be a much larger endeavor than the amount of money I will be paid for it.

How do I know I am stretched? Because I have noticed a significant change in the way I complete other tasks and projects (such as writing in this blog). I am not able to put as much effort into just one thing because I have so many other projects going on at the same time. I freelance write, volunteer for our local arts council, help my husband run his business, work for a screen printing and embroidery shop downtown, and now have taken 4 voice students.

I fill my time with all these things for two main reasons:
1) Money - we are working hard at making our photography business succeed and I am trying to take every measure to help supplement our income.
2) Fear (here's the clincher) - fear of not being important because of having too much time on my hands or not accomplishing enough.

I thought I was making headway in the way of #2, but I realized last night that, almost without knowing it, I surpassed the boundary of what is "enough" for me and my time. I am confessing this to you this morning because I have to face my mistake today and make the necessary arrangements to bring my list of students down to 1. This is the amount I know I can handle with grace and focus. This is the balance mark.

I will learn from my mistakes and move on to a more balanced life.

We all have our tipping points and our balance marks. Have you had a similar experience to this one?


Jody said...

Larissa, honey, you are way too hard on yourself. I used to stress about all the things I had to do. Volunteering at church, school and local clubs, while holding down a full time job and taking care of a home and 2 young sons, I felt like I never had a moment to myself. The first time I said "no" I actually felt quite proud of myself. While it's important to do the hard thing to make money, don't stress about the others. If it's something you really don't enjoy, don't do it! Take one day at a time, the world's not going to come to an end just because you didn't get something done. Just remember, you are loved and respected by all of your family and friends. You're doing fine!!

Larissa said...

Thank you for the reassurance, Jody. When I'm in the moment I often don't realize how hard I'm being on myself. I'm glad you shared your experiences about saying "no" and feeling proud of it. It does feel good when you finally get up the nerve to do it. You son is always a calming presence throughout these tense moments, as I'm sure you understand since he's so much like Brent. We were smart to marry these phlegmatic men!
Love you,

Ricky said...

Larissa, you should play games, all sorts! :D