All my life I’ve had the tendency to pile more on. Someone needs a hand with something? I’ll offer to help out. Friend is going through a rough patch? I’m there to prop them up. A job needs doing and no-one else will step up? Then I’m your gal.
A lot of people call me a sucker for punishment. I work hard. Once I commit to something I am all in. I keep going, keep trying, keep working until the job is done and my goal is achieved. Even when the odds are against me. Even when it stresses me out. Even if I chose the path under less than ideal circumstances.
I’m getting a little better at saying no, but I’ve come to realize that some of the things I have taken on that sounded like they were ‘too much’ are some of the best things I have done.
Like becoming a Brownies leader for my daughters unit. The thought petrified me. OMG 20 or so 7-9yr olds, all waiting for me to… do… stuff… Yeah. Sometimes I still feel really anxious about that. There is a lot of planning involved. Hours a week to get organized for the programme and then run it. Sometimes there is very little in the way of parent help. There are reports to write, and meetings to attend and stuff on the weekends at times – but you know what? It’s really rewarding. The week I realized that the girls actually LIKED me, and weren’t just going along with my plan because that’s what you do was seriously awesome. I’m so pleased that I put my hand up when no-one else would.
Other things have been becoming the Education officer at Playcentre – I got an immense sense of achievement by helping people get through their courses and at the time we finished up at the centre we had the highest level of education we’d had in over a decade. All down to me. I got to remember that actually, I’m a really organized person and can totally get stuff done – even when it scares me.
Tales for Canterbury is another one. I had young kids and very little experience, but did that stop me? Nope. I grabbed the bull by the horns and rode that thing all the way to the Sir Julius Vogel awards. I got the nerve up to email Neil Gaiman and ask for a story, and he actually said yes.
So there is something to be said for being stubborn. For tackling things you don’t think you have time or the skills for. For being a sucker for punishment. Sometimes the things that seem the hardest, or the scariest, are the most worth doing.