Taking care of yourself first...

I'm a good person, I care for others... I have no doubt that most of you readers are like myself and always want to try your hardest and do your best to please other people. It seems to be in my blood to want to help others - I do that in my role as a frontline receptionist and it's a big reason as to why I am becoming a teacher. It plays a part in my christian faith as well, I want what I do in this life to matter... I want to make positive differences in people's lives while I can.

The problem is when this gets out of hand. I'm a sucker for a plea and a large pair of puppy dog eyes. I overcommit myself and I'd never cancel out on something I had promised to do without feeling overwhelming pangs of guilt. I almost rostered myself on my birthday weekend at work! An old school friend is getting married in our gardens... we're not that close, I'm not invited to her wedding or anything, but she came in this morning to pay her deposit for her wedding at the end of this month. She asked if I was working that weekend, because that would be fantastic if I was. Wistfully implying it would be fantastic if they could deal with me rather than someone that they don't know. I could hear the words coming out of my mouth "Well, I can see if I can..." HALT mouth HALT. I said, with a huge amount of effort "...actually I can't work that day. I have uni the following Monday and I'll have a lot to get organised." Not to mention that it is my birthday weekend... what prevents me from just saying "No" with a regretful shake of the head?

I put aside time to work, yet feel guilty when I can't work late/work a shift that the boss can't find cover for. I put aside time for study, yet feel guilty when I'm out on the town knowing that my assignment still needs to be completed. I hate hate hate when I have to choose between church stuff and friends stuff because both are equally important to me. I perpetually feel like I'm failing someone - at the moment, my church/work/social lives are so hectic that I really feel like I'm letting down my parents at the home front.
I choose this day, this moment to confess my feelings and to make a vow to stop feeling so bad, to stop being so apologetic if I can't do something. I'm challenging myself to say no if it really is inconvenient to me. Are you stuck in the same cycle when maybe you aren't being selfish enough? Let me know in the comments and make the pledge!


  1. yes yes yes say NO NO NO!
    you first! everything after wards!!!
    bless you!

  2. I know exactly how you feel!!! I am always putting my life last when it comes to work and uni. I made a pledge to myself this year that I would try to have more of a social life because I feel myself in this horirble social rut and how am I meant to meet people/do fun stuff if I am always working/studying? And how am I also meant to be good to myself if I am always working/studying and not allowing myself the chance to have any fun!?

    Last week, I got a call from work, they were desperate for people to work and apparently I was the only person availble! When I said "no" I was made to feel so terrible, not about just letting them down, but it was almost personal, because I was being disappointing. Ugh. I had said "no" because I was exhausted, I had worked 30 something hours in 3 days, I needed a full day off to just be myself, do what I wanted to do for myself. Instead, the mention of being "disappointing" and the guilt trip that followed made me reluctantly call back and say that I could work.

    So since then, I haven't had proper days off, have worked a ridiculous 50hour week and have tried to do everything else that I wanted to do for fun. Consequently I am stuffed and miserable! So here is to saying "no" to people and putting myself forward and not going back on that pledge I made at the beginning of the year! Here is to you too Scirbbles for doing the same! We can be one another's moral support in reminding each other that it is ok to say no and to put our lives before things like silly part-time jobs, etc etc, because our mental health and happiness is so much more important!

  3. Good for you, honey - I couldn't think of a person who deserves to say 'no' and put themselves first more.


  4. I'm the same way. I really struggle with this too. Bit of a giant purple people-pleaser, I am. I agree with everyone else - good for you!

  5. @cuileann - four actually... you couldn't tell?

  6. There is simply not enough hours in the day!

    I'm getting better at saying no as I get older. But there are still times when I use the kids as a convenient excuse so I don't feel bad :)