Lately, I have been putting a lot of energy into making sure everyone else gets what they need. If I am available, I do whatever people have asked for.
Sitting amidst the mess of my house on Monday, I surveyed the damage. Piles of laundry. Piles of art supplies. Piles of dishes. Piles of puppy toys. Piles of boxes of husband's stuff. Piles of journals and books.
While I was out and about taking care of everyone else because I was "available", my life had begun to pile up around me threatening to topple over and bury me.
I began to think about the feelings that have been piling up inside me as well and all of the things that I would like to do that I am "too busy" to do.
I realized that when people ask something of me, I don't want to lie and say I have plans when I don't. If the "only" thing I have to do is hang around cleaning the house and painting or writing, why not help someone out? Because, it piles up. My feelings and my possessions and the list of things that need doing in my life, pile up.
Next time someone asks something of me I am going to think more deeply before saying yes. If the image that comes into my brain is a paintbrush in my hand, a book and a cup of lemonade and my rocking chair, a full sink of dishes... my answer will be:
"I'm sorry. I can't because I have plans."
Even if my plans are cleaning the house or a date with a good book, they are still plans. Though caring for others is important, I need to remember to extend that to myself more often, engage in more self care.