Tuesday, February 1, 2011

like a pair of bookends



the older i get, the more i realize the importance of self-preservation, often unfairly veiled as selfishness, though it's anything but.

it's stepping back and exaimining the many hats, roles and personalities we women are blessed to carry. and saying no to some of them. not comitting to every bake sale, jewelry party and volunteer activity that happens to make its way onto our path.

as a pleaser, i struggle. how to i maintain my sense of likeability and sweetness while putting my foot down? how do i say yes to some and shake my head at others without looking like i'm picking favorites? how do i maintain professionalism without becoming a professional doormat?

{the very fact that we ask ourselves these questions and carry the struggle within us reveals so much about our desire to please.}

yesterday was a day when i just couldn't do it. not for the life of me could i commit to one more thing.

i stayed up until 3:00 in the morning sunday staring into a work assignment glowing at me in the dark. i got to work and realized my hair was held up by a rubber band. not a hairband. a.rubber.band.

i logged into my online classroom and saw a sea of forum posts. i looked at my yoga mat rolled up in the closet. i stared guiltily at my tomatoes, rotting before i had time to make sauce with them. 


so many stresses and challenges and commitments and requirements and expectations.


so i let them go. instead, i went to a pizza restaurant and stuffed myself silly. i took a long shower and stretched deliciously under the water. i snuggled into the nook of my couch and watched the bachelor until my eyelids sunk. i needed a good cry, a good man, and a good dog.

because we're not bookends. we can't always hold ourselves together. rather, i like to think of women as the books in between. the beautiful, adventerous, tragic, happy stories that make up a pretty fine collection. 


even if we're not always collected.

28 comments:

Brittany H. said...

Oooh, I love the color of those. Very sweet.

Have a nice Tuesday!
X,
www.brittanyhavican.blogspot.com

Marian said...

Wow, I love this post!!

Peaches said...

I'm very much a people pleaser too, and in the last couple years I've started to focus more on me. Maybe it's selfish, but I don't think so. We need to love and take care of ourselves before we can take care of other people.

I hope you have a productive, but peaceful day. Hugs!

the southern hostess said...

Beautiful post! You made me feel better about the veggies I end up throwing away before they get used.

Ana* said...

I used to be a people pleaser too, not anymore. Some might think it's egoist, others will understand people need time for themselves. the button line is, you can't please everybody but you can please yourself, I say do what you can in your own time.

ps: I love the photo above!!

Christi said...

Awesome post. I relate for sure.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

One year I declared it my year of "yes" and had great adventures but was so exhausted the next year was a year of being allowed to say "no". That was a freeing year.

Dawn said...

Love the picture....and so glad I'm not a bookend:))
I think my book would be such a variation of themes- one wouldn't know what to think of it!

M. said...

Those colors...love love love this picture!!!
M.

mskanorado said...

Oh I love this! I completely agree with you. I have been struggling with the same concept of putting my foot down and saying no to extreme expectations, to adding even more to my plate and realizing its me & my family first, period.

Amanda Moury said...

So amazing, I will strive to be the books between the bookends from now on :)

Tori Caylin said...

I love love love this. I often struggle with taking on too many obligations just to gain more experience and networking with different schools or teachers... but it's so not worth the stress on my mind and body. Life is not about meeting others expectations, it's about exploring and accomplishing your own. <3

Dacia@TheRufflyOwl said...

ahhhh you're my fave. :) you're my chicken soup for the soul... just thought i'd tell you. :)

e.day said...

gah. i think this post just saved my day. my mind has been having a panic attack all day with the same stuff you mentioned here. and my tomatoes did go bad :(

also, it helped because it reminded me of "atlas shrugged" and "the fountainhead", two of my favorite books AND that favorite song "who are you when i'm not looking" by blake shelton. thanks for saving my day.

Thisisme. said...

Love the picture! I, too, am a people pleaser, and it's so hard to say "No", but sometimes we just have to do it for our own sanity. Good post as always, and I love it that you stuffed yourself silly with pizza!!

Victoria said...

I feel like that so often! I'm glad I"m not the only one who procrastinates. I mean, obviously I'm not, but I seriously do those exact same things. I have tomatoes rotting too. Well, probably. After a certain point I try to forget they're there so I can avoid the embarrassment... which just makes it worse. Way to go enjoying yourself. As long as you take care of yourself you can take care of everything else in due time.

Other than the stress sounds like the perfect night.

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Great post. I feel ya. I'm working on this too.

{av} said...

couldn't love {or agree with} this post any more...hope you enjoyed your Monday night, you certainly deserved it! hang in there, my love. xoxo {av}

Meri said...

Oh man, the day that I started saying "no" to protect myself from overdoing, it was so freeing. Now I get to choose things I REALLY want to do, and the more you say no the easier it gets!
Meri
merigoesround.blogspot.com

kirst said...

this is SO what i needed! my mantra this week "just let go"
here's to swinging birches
xo

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i like that analogy. and i love the photo!

jeny said...

Will simply say..amen. School is always an added layer, but I tell myself all the time that it isn't forever. Keep being good to yourself. :)jeny

Jessica said...

Great post!! A wonderful reminder that we can just let loose and be who we want to. ;)

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

Amazing post, I love how you used this analogy. I hope your bath was sweet and that you cried it all out. Here is a cyber hug from me to you. take care doll. I'll be stalking you soon.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Exactly! I know how you feel!

Jenni said...

You are a genius. I adore the way you write. Just hadn't told you in a while. :)

Grace said...

You are already a writer, now you need to get some work published so your words reach out to more people. Your posts are always amazing. And you pretty much voice all of the thoughts that are in our own minds. I have my own fair of cries and frustrations.

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

this is so profound and exactly what i needed to read right at this very moment! thank you again and again for the wise ways you wield your mind forming these thoughts to print.

balance is something i'm working on as well, deal-breakers and the like...total work in progress.

good for you about letting it go, it was obvs needed and such a healthy choice. "we're not bookends, we're the books in between"...how do you come up with such truly amazing and distinctly lovely analogies?! i love it, pure and simple. xox ♥

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