Says Bella, my 7 year old granddaughterDontcha just love that bumper sticker, Wag More, Bark Less–you’ve probably seen it on someone’s bumper when you’ve been trapped in traffic, late for an appointment, on a day full of appointments, when you’re just about ready to snarl! I hope it made you smile like it did me! My friend Merrill and I recently had to remind some folks in an organization we belong to that being nice should be its own reward. She came up with this “wag more” theme…and I’m just going to run with it here cuz it fits my life at the moment! My hope in sharing my story is that it might resonate with you!
I’m an over achiever. There. I said it out loud. I have 312 colored balls in the air at any given moment and, sometimes, as though that’s not enough, I try to spin a few delicate, china plates on a stick while I’m at it. I’m full of boundless enthusiasm for life, filled with endless curiosity, blessed with lots of energy, amply able to multi-task, and forever convinced I can “do it all.”
So, besides a nursing career, a Beloved husband, a wonderful home & garden (with all it takes to keep it going!), and a dozen hobbies; I run my own business (The Creative Cottage), give art classes, do counseling sessions, mentor the Girlz With HeART Program, serve on the boards of several organizations, practice archaeology, convene a writing circle, and try to cultivate my own spiritual life.
But, recently, I volunteered to take on an important task for a great group. No big deal. I’ve done this sort of thing all my life. If somebody needs me or can use my skills or is in a jam–I’ll be there! But this time, almost from the first day I volunteered, the task got crazy and out of hand. Nothing went right. Obstacles kept popping up. People didn’t respect deadlines. Communication broke down. I spent hours and hours (and hours) working on the project, but it seemed to hit wall after wall. Totally frustrating! Finally, even me, Susie Sunshine, crashed in a heap, exhausted, frazzled, and MAD! Yes, you read that right, I was MAD–at people who bark and bite and apparently didn’t get the “wag more” memo. But I was really mostly mad at myself.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I take on so much? Why do I think I have to do so much? Why do I always put almost everything else in the whole world ahead of ME! Waaaaay beyond the call of duty. All by myself, late at night, after a full day of other obligations! Why? Because I don’t want to “bother” any one. Because it needs doing and nobody else stepped up. Because I am an over achiever.
So what’s the “take home” from this? It’s time for me to really LIVE what I tell you all so often. YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU DO ENOUGH! SLOW DOWN! BREATHE! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! BE AS KIND TO YOURSELF AS YOU ARE TO OTHERS! Simple huh? No big deal. Everybody knows that! Not me, apparently! But I promise to keep it in mind from now on! I promise.
In celebration of this epiphany (and to celebrate our wedding anniversary!) my Sweetheart and I are going to the Whisper’s Ranch Bed and Breakfast in Elgin for a few days later this week. He’s even rented kayaks for us (after I fell in love with kayaking at my sister’s in June!)…my friend Karen is going to check in on our critters and water anything that gets droopy in the garden (THANK YOU!)…and I am going to just let myself ENJOY LIFE for a few days! Watch for me to wag more! And please remind me if I forget!
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.