Wisdom Wednesday: I Need a Little Break for Me…

Do you ever have a moment in life when you look at someone and wish that you were as smart as them? Wish that you could be them for just one day? Or at least hang around them all day long?

Liz from A Belle, A Bean & a Chicago Dog is just that for me. :) She’s one of the first bloggy friends that I connected with when I really started reaching out a couple of years ago. I can now say that I’ve met her (at Blissdom this past January!) and love the wisdom she {and KLZ} shares through Eli | Rose Social Media now too.

And by the looks of what she’s sharing in today’s Wisdom Wednesday, I might be able to be as smart as her someday…

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Anyone who has tweeted with or read Julie for even a short while knows that she’s a dedicated, helpful woman who does (too) good a job of saying “yes” to things. I feel like I can tease her about this because she and I have talked about her looooong list of accepted responsibilities.

And because I used to be her.

Growing up, I was the kid who took a bunch of honors classes, played sports, trained in dance and was involved in music. I loved every second of it, even though I never got near the number of hours of sleep that I needed.

I always kept pushing my body to keep going.

College came and nothing changed. I continued to burn the candle at both ends, so much so that I ended up leaving school before the end of the fall semester of my junior year.

I had mono.

It was so bad that I was hospitalized.

My doctor told my mom that he’d never seen a patient with as swollen a liver and spleen as I had.

I had to take incompletes in all my college courses that semester.

But as sick as I was and as inconvenient as it was to study for and take my 1st semester finals at the start of 2nd semester, I’m strangely glad that it happened. I learned a very valuable life lesson about listening to your body, knowing your limits and understanding that things will get done and the world will go on even if you need to stop and take care of yourself once in a while.

So, my wisdom to share this Wednesday is to learn when to say when, and understand that it’s OK to step back for a time. I’m a big believer that we aren’t really being effective at anything if we’re trying to do everything, all the time. I’ve even written a post about that as it pertains to blogging.

We all are busy people, balancing way more than a few grown-up responsibilities. But we all are only human, and none of us should be afraid to say, “I need a little break for me” sometimes.

Do you feel like you can’t say “No”? Have you cut out some things in order to simplify your life?

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Thanks so much for sharing this Liz! This totally applies to my life and I am definitely trying to heed those words already.

Be sure to visit A Belle, A Bean & a Chicago Dog and if you are on twitter… join in with Liz this Friday for another installment of #BlogBoycottDay where she tweets All.Day.Long. {And so would I, but I have to work. Boo.} :)

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  1. I so understand this. Right now I’m trying to maintain my blog, write for up to 3 other sites for free or for pennies, and I committed to putting together my mom’s club’s monthly newsletter — with a microsoft program I have no idea how to use. Throw in the part time work from home gig I’m starting and oh yeah, the household and 3 small children I’m responsible for and I may just see a nervous breakdown in my future. But truthfully my real fear is that my labors of love, blogging and writing, will be the ones that suffer.

  2. Sage advice my friend. Balance is key although sometimes it’s so hard to do.

  3. What great advice! Sometimes it’s so hard to take a break and focus on ourselves!

  4. This is great advice! I was the same way when I was younger, and I have learned that you have to know your limits.

  5. What a lesson to learn! It is a good reminder for everyone.

  6. How scary Liz, glad you got to the doctor in time. I have a hard time finding balance. I’m working on it this summer, trying to reduce my twitter time a bit while everyone is home.

  7. Liz, It sounds like this was a blessing in disguise. When we don’t listen to the small hints our bodies give us to slow down, our bodies pull out the big guns that make us stop!

  8. so true! time for yourself is so important before things get too out of control!!

  9. Liz,
    This is SO important and so many women think that they are invincible, but like Jen said, our bodies will eventually pull out the big guns to make us stop! And it seems that the older we are when this STOP happens, the longer it takes to recover. Wish we could make very woman hear and understand the need to learn to say No and to take care of themselves!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. What a great Meme idea! I love the idea of sharing life’s lessons with others. 😀

  11. Love this! Not that you got mono but the lesson learned from it!
    Take time to slow down.
    No need to take on everything at once.

  12. Mono is the worst. I always used to think, “what’s so bad about an illness where you get to sleep all the time?”. Then I got it.
    Great advice!

  13. Great advice! And glad you were able to learn this early and be able to recover. Yikes! Mono sucks = and I just had a run-of-the-mill version. I can’t imagine being in your shoes.

    • Yes, apparently with me, it’s “go big or go home!”

      I also had a fever that lasted 2.5 weeks before breaking. In a lot of ways, the fever was the worst part!

  14. Oh man. This is totally the truth. I did something similar the last time my husband deployed… talk about burning a candle at both ends! I wound up with mono AND viral menigitis… it kicked my ass for almost 2 solid years. It’s so much better to pace yourself and not try to do it all.
    If we don’t opt for that on our own… our bodies will choose it for us! NOT FUN!

  15. I think that the older I get, the easier it is becoming to say “No” because there is only so much of me to go around. If I do not take the time to take care of me, nobody else will and I literally do not have as many days ahead of me as I have behind me. Gotta make the most of them!

  16. This is part of the reason I just hired a “mommy’s helper” to babysit a little bit for the rest of the Summer. I like to think I can do it all but sometimes I just need a “sanity check” and that’s what I’m gonna do while the babysitter is here. Well that and workout and just get some “me time”.

    I’m sorry you were so sick back then Liz.

    These are wise words. Thanks for hosting her here, Julie! :)

    • Good for you! Now I’m jealous! Ha!

      Though the girls did go to summer camp 2 days a week for 6 weeks, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

  17. So very true – not being effective at anything if we’re trying to do everything. A lesson I still sometimes forget. Great Wisdom Wednesday spot!

  18. How did you get so smart? Kidding. I was never that involved in school – I typically had to work as well as finish my homework…but even that led to burn out. It happens today, with my on and offline life – thankfully I know when to say when [mostly]

  19. I used to be this way, too – the honors classes, activities, etc in high school. I also learned the hard way that a person can only do so much – I developed regular migraines and would throw up every morning before leaving for school. In college I became super involved with every production we put up, in one way or another, and was drinking 64 oz of coffee every day. Now? I still tend to go overboard from time to time but like to think I know my limits. Eventually your body lets you know in no uncertain terms that you’re not the boss.

  20. I know exactly where you are coming from. It is hard for me to say no, especially to good friends and family. I think some people take advantage of that too. Every once in a while I step back and look at how tired and overwhelmed I am, that I have to take a little time out for my sanity and the sake of everyone else.

    • It can be so hard to step back, but once that initial feeling goes away, it’s so freeing to get yourself back together. :)

  21. Women chronically spread themselves too thin probably because there are so many unrealistic expectations thrown at us from the time we’re kids. Do it all and look good doing it!

    While I’m guilty of over extending myself at times, I tend to fall apart after 2 nights without adequate sleep so my body always lets me know when I need to slow down and I’m pretty good at listening. I turn into a raging bitch otherwise. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

    Sorry you had to learn the hard way and glad you got back on track after a scare like that. YIKES

  22. I find it so hard to find a balance that would allow mr to say enough is enough. But I know I need to for my sanity 😉

  23. Your intro is WAY to amazingly kind, Julie! For reals!

  24. I have such a difficult time saying no because I don’t want to admit that I can’t and of course I think I can do everything…NOT! Like knowing limitations is a bad thing! And, like you said we are only human; its just not possible to do it all! Progress….

  25. Great post! I think, especially as a mom, I feel I need to do it all. But, I don’t. So, right now I’m just aiming for being “good enough” then learning to be OK with that. Knowing when to say no is getting easier…a little. :)

  26. Such a fantastic reminder Liz! As women, and as moms, it doesn’t get any easier to do this, does it? We have to make a conscious effort to do this. or be reminded by a wise friend! :)

  27. GREAT post, good reminder for us all & I hope my teen daughter can soon take these (types of) words to heart as well — it’s scary to watch how young women push themselves these days!!

  28. Kristin @ What She Said says:

    I relate to this post on a few different levels. As it pertains to blogging, I’m still struggling to find the balance and not try to do it all (but I think I’m getting better!). As it pertains to life, I’m slowly learning to let certain things go… and finding that, like you said, the world doesn’t come to a standstill. I remember feeling so helpless when I was bedridden for a week last December with pneumonia, but every time I tried to get up and push myself to do even the most basic of tasks, I only made myself sicker. Finally, I just let go. And my husband did a beautiful job picking up my slack and taking care of our daughter. You hit the nail on the head when you said to listen to your body – it’s so important.

    Also? I had mono in college too – going into it my freshman year, in fact. It wasn’t as bad as yours, but it was bad enough. Whew!

  29. When I started writing my novel, I cut back on the volunteering, on the amazing mom stunts, on the yes’s. I felt so guilty for awhile, but then one day I realized how much happier I was giving a little less of myself to the world and a little more to me.

    I’ve also lately done the same thing on my blogging. I used to kill myself and stress over the blogs I was missing. But thanks to that novel of mine, I had to cut back and as much as I miss the every day blogging and visiting, it has created a more Zen like me.

    Wise words that all women should abide by. Good post, Liz.

  30. stopping by via SITS :) I definitely can relate, so often we stretch ourselves so thin, our plates get so full and then we struggle to play “catch up” (is there really such a thing as catching up??) – I’ve been purposing it in my heart to really make time for more “time” by enjoying the splendor of simplicity, saying no to things I otherwise felt obligated to commit (overcommit) to, and really downshifting a few notches….what a joy it has been, loving the journey!

  31. This is so true. We should never forget that our body isn´t a machine. There is always enough time to rest for a while, refuel and continue more effectively.

  32. Right now, I should take a break, but I feel like I finally have found a “Groove” with blogging and writing and I want to seize it. I am actually loving it, but when I was pregnant, those first two years with twins, everything suffered, I was just “Surviving” …but now I might be tired, but I am enjoying getting to know women like you…learning new things about blogging and just stay focused.

    I rest when I need to, I sleep and turn the computer off…maybe that’s why I am feeling so good about what I’m doing.

    what a great post from one of my favorite bloggers. 😉

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