Do you take on too much responsibility? Stuff that isn’t yours…or shouldn’t be yours. Do you know why you do that?boredom

I used to be that way, and I think deep down it was because of a need to be needed. A friend once told me that “No” is a complete sentence. I like that. It took me a long time, two thirds of my life if you’re counting, to become aware of my problem and to feel comfortable enough to say thanks but no thanks. Of course telephone sales people don’t get “no thanks,” but a “not interested,” followed by a quick hang up.

Can responsibility be merely a response or a reaction to other’s needs? Is it a knee-jerk response? Taking care of ourselves should be our first priority. By not overloading or overwhelming ourselves, we are able to enjoy and engage in life. This doesn’t mean never helping someone else out, it means placing ownership of the problem on the right shoulders. It doesn’t mean you are a selfish individual. Being honest and tactful alleviates misunderstandings and resentments. We have to speak our truth.

Samuel Butler said:

“Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden, not silence.”


100_1407This past week I was in the midst of clean up after flooding rains, preparing for another hurricane swirling around Baja California, and attending to edits on my latest work. I had a full plate. As my obligations started to ease, I thought about my daughter having her air conditioning replaced and moving it into the attic. That’s a major job. It also means a lot of time off work for her, while repairmen are in her house. I offered my assistance.

Last night I questioned taking on yet another responsibility. I had made my offer to my daughter with the understanding that we would talk after the next round of rain on Wednesday. If my house is in order, I’ll help out with hers. First things first, right?

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10 Responses to Responsibility.

  1. Samanthe says:

    It’s a hard lesson to master. I haven’t completely, but becoming a writer has forced me to guard my time more strictly.

  2. Samanthe says:

    Hit “submit” too quick! I wanted to add I hope the home cleanup goes well and you stay dry from here on out. *Fingers crossed*

  3. Kady Winter says:

    Great post, Robena! And agreed. Sometimes it feels easier to take on other people’s problems as a way of avoiding dealing with our own, too. And sorry about your flood damage. Hope you’re able to get it cleaned up soon with no repeats!

  4. robena grant says:

    Ah, I didn’t think of that aspect, Kady, take on other’s problems and ignore your own. Good thought.

    Thanks for the good wishes and I’m also hoping for no repeats. : )

  5. Exactly right, Robena – just like they teach us on airplanes, first put the oxygen mask on yourself, then help others. I hope this storm misses your corner of the world.

  6. robena grant says:

    Brilliant, and so true. You’d think I’d remember that, Lynne. I used to be an airline stewardess. : )
    Me too, on the storm. But I don’t want to wish it on Arizona either. I hope it veers off into the ocean.

  7. My “no” mechanism is often broken. Thanks for the timely reminder.
    I need to pull back.