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Over-Booked, Over-Scheduled, and Over-Committed

June 17, 2010

Isn’t it time we all slow down?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about what I really want. And in this thinking, I’ve discovered a few unconscious “gotchas” – you know, those fluctuations of the mind stuff that you never thought were there but silently steer you in a direction as if you were a puppet on a string.

What’s been running silently and deeply in the gray matter between my ears?

1. The fear of being seen as irresponsible


2. The fear of being a colossal failure
I’m probably one of the most responsible people you’ll ever meet but once upon a time, when I was a teenager, I was told time and time again how irresponsible I was by well meaning parents. I was by no means a model teenager – I was mouthy, I lied, I manipulated, and I probably pushed my parents to their limit. Once I got a clue I vowed to do my best no matter what I was doing. That led me to become your classic type A, over-achieving, uber responsible adult. I become so responsible, that I took on responsibilities that clearly belonged to other people.

Over the years, I have learned that taking on the responsibilities of others is emotionally draining and unhealthy and while I no longer do that I still carry with me this unreasonable fear of being seen as irresponsible. Which then leads me to my other fear – the fear of being a colossal failure. Not just your run of the mill failure, but a really really big one.

Both of these fears are my ego weaving its black magic inside my mind while hideously cloaked in stealth mode. Recognizing these two fears as driving forces in my life has been unnerving. I thought I had both of these licked a long time ago, but the ego thrives in fear and allowed me to think I had it licked while it simply switched to silent mode.

But how did I recognize them?

I was challenged by my friends Wilma and John – and they helped me realize I was overcommitting myself and my energy…again. When I begin to dread the very things I love to do because I feel overwhelmed by it all, that’s when I know I’ve taken on too much and that habit is driven by that silly fear of being seen as irresponsible.

And then I was challenged by my friend Tess – and I openly admitted to being afraid of being a failure, not just any kind of failure, but a colossal failure. So even this fear of failing has mushroomed inside my head as something so huge it has me running around doing a little of this, a little of that, and saying Yes to just about everything that comes my way. It keeps me awake at night, plotting and planning on how to involove myself in this project, on that project. I’m here, there and everywhere. And it all just becomes rather exhausting.

So exhausting that I want to check out of everything I’ve got going on. My Stepmom’s Toolbox blog, my Stepmom’s Toolbox radio show, supporting other stepmoms, writing my book, teaching yoga, and yes, even co-leading the workshop I have scheduled for August 7!

And when I confronted these unreasonable fears head-on and inside my head, I literally wanted to pick up my ball, stop playing, and go home. I wanted to shut the door on all this stuff, hang it up, and quit. And what would that have made me? An irresponsible colossal failure.

One the score card of life, my ego would have won that round.

Instead, I took some time to sort through my recently surfaced fears, pause through my knee-jerk thought reactions, toss ideas around with my husband and with my friends, and take my dog, Edgar, on some really long walks.

Like the character Tigger, I sometimes bounce too far from what I really want by saying Yes to nearly everything and I sometimes bounce too high and get stuck in trees and need a little bit of rescuing.

I thought about what I really want: To create an oasis of calm in the middle of every day busy-ness and I realized that the calm oasis must start with me first. Returning to my center, my core, and reclaiming my energy. On one of my walks, I realized I was over-booked, over-scheduled and over-committed. I looked at what was going on in life and in my projects and rescheduled my radio show programming as each show takes time to prepare beforehand and I want each show to reflect the care and quality of my preparation. What amazed me was how this one tweak seemed to break the log jam I created in my head.

The other day during my yoga practice, I realized that I needed to slow down. If other people notice how “busy” I am and wonder how I do it all perhaps I need to pause here. And ask myself how do I do it all? Because it’s not all being done with care. I decided to permanately take Fridays off from work. And I don’t want to fill up those 6-8 hours with other “stuff.” It’s the one day where I don’t have to schedule my time for other people.

How do I want to spend these reclaimed hours? Going to my yoga class at 9:30AM and then taking my laptop to the Coffee Factory in Derry, kick back with a large latte, and write to my heart’s content (or stare at a blank screen until words flow from my brain to my fingertips).

The other night I asked Richard what he thought of me opening a yoga studio downtown. After all, we’ve spent $4,200 to get me not just 200 hour level certified to teach, but 500 hour level as well. For the last 2 1/2 years, I”ve given up one weekend a month to do this. I loved every minute of it, but now that I’m done the next logical move in my small mindedness is to open a studio.

Months ago Richard asked me if I’d like it if he converted one of our garage bays into a studio so that I could at least teach to a handful of students while he’s deployed. I loved the idea. I remember wiggling about doing my happy dance. In my unintentional and underhanded way, I reminded Richard that the garage bay is still a garage bay and he’s only got 90 days at home before he deploys for a year. I don’t want his time sucked up by a yoga studio project. He told me he’s going to ask his ex-brother-in-law who still owes him a chunk of change to exchange work for his debt. I can see the possibilities here and how this arrangement will work so that everyone wins.

Even as I write this my ego is chattering away a million thoughts a minute. I am a work in progress but I’ll be damned if those ego driven fears of mine will stop me for enjoying every now moment I have. Worrying about whether or not I’m seen as being irresponsible or that I’ll become a colossal failure is robbing me of not only of this very moment but of my own infinite possibilities.

What’s robbing you?


Do You Have Stress?

June 10, 2010
tags: , ,

Does your physical body suffer from one or more of the following:

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Heart disease
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems

Does your emotional body suffer from one or more of the following?

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Worrying
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Feeling insecure
  • Lack of focus
  • Burnout
  • Forgetfulness

Do you do one or more of the following:

  • Overeat
  • Undereat
  • Have angry outbursts  
  • Increased smoking
  • Social withdrawal
  • Crying spells
  • Relationship conflicts

If you answered yes to one or more in any category, then you just might be suffering from the symptoms of stress.

Yoga and Reiki can help reduce and resolve symptoms related to stress. At Infinite Yoga and Reiki, we’re here to help  you do just that!


Peggy Nolan, RYT (500)

Teresa Thompson, Reiki II Practioner

Stress symptom source: Mayo Clinic