Two somewhat cliche statements keep coming to my mind.
... Know your limits
... Accept yourself
I had thought I’d mastered these many years ago, but I learned within the last few that I’d either forgotten them and become harder on myself OR I never learned them well enough to fully integrate them into my life on a permanent basis.
I periodically shut down. When I’m stressed or overwhelmed or needing to concentrate on matters demanding focus and action, I automatically shut down the normal day-to-day things that are less important. That’s not to say that these things are not important ... just that they’re less important than the pressing or critical matters.
I’ve learned the first platitude -- “know your limits” -- and I am fully aware that I can accomplish only so much at once. To push past this limit is, of course, possible; but the result is less effective handling of the pressing matters as well as shoddy or poor quality completion of the less important ones. So, I just automatically shut down the latter and concentrate on the pressing. The other things aren’t going anywhere and will be waiting for me when I can better manage them. The one “hitch” to this is when it’s connected to others and their understanding that I’m on shutdown for a while and not to take it personally. Those who know me for a while learn this about me and, thankfully, aren’t insulted or hurt. I can only hope that those who don’t know me as well will understand and realize that I will be back when I’m better able.
I’d thought I had mastered the second platitude as well -- Accept yourself. I mean, I like myself, I respect myself, I know my good traits and bad, and I’m well able to be my own friend. The last couple years have showed me, though, that I hadn’t mastered this as well as I’d thought. I realized this because I kept feeling guilty about not keeping up, not returning correspondence or emails as I would like, not getting that little extra something to so-and-so, etc. while I’m on shutdown.
I felt guilty, and guilty to the point of shame. Not good.
So I’ve worked on that last part ... not only accepting myself but also rejecting guilt for doing what I know is best for me and keeps me most healthy.
So you might wonder why I’m writing this. It’s because I’ve so many friends .... I’m truly blessed to have so many ... and I’ve recently been on shutdown and still am to a large extent. After shutdown there is much more than usual with which to catch up, more contacts than usual to reach, more chores to complete before resuming the normal day-to-day routine.
And that’s why I’m writing this ... so that those of you, my friends, who don’t know me as well as some others will not be hurt or misunderstand why I haven’t been chatting with you for the last little while.
I’m still here. Just busy.
Till I’m back on track (this time as well as others when this occurs), I send you smiles and loving friendship.