You guys, I am tired! Currently, I’m planning my wedding and honeymoon, completing the final stages of my book, planning another event, polishing off the Edmonton Do Gooder blog series, and a few other projects besides.
I knew this was coming, but I’m beginning to run out of steam. At times like this, I’m reminded of how much a do gooder’s own wellbeing affects how much good he or she is able to do.
The other day, a wonderful woman told me that she wanted so badly to do as much good as possible that she actually ended up hospitalized not long ago. By trying to cram more and more in, by trying to say ‘yes’ to everyone who needed her help, she basically burned herself out.
The world needs each of us to be contributing to make it better, and it needs each of us to work hard at that. But a burned-out do gooder does nobody any good.
To do the most good, we need to be at our best: well rested, clear headed, energetic. That means we need to be gentle with ourselves. When we look around us and see so much need, it seems like the natural thing to keep piling more on.
It may seem selfish and wasteful, but I think it’s important that we each recognize our own limitations and give ourselves a break when we need one. Don’t expect too much from yourself. Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to things when you need to – even if they’re great things.
For myself, I’ve decided not to sign up for anything more until after my honeymoon. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on around town, and a lot of compelling invitations are coming my way, but I know it’s too much. That’s one way I’m pacing myself for a lifetime of do-gooding to come.