There was an ache firmly centered in my chest. It made me want to … I don’t even know. Cry. Sleep. Not sleep. Eat everything. Never eat again. Drink water like it could wash it all away. Write. Not write. Curl up in a ball in the corner. Scream. Something. Nothing. Everything. But it hurt.
And it was paralyzing.
My dance card is long-past full. My digital calendar is all marked busy. My mental capacity has, in fact, reached capacity.
This must be what too busy feels like.
I said yes. Yes to my dream job. Yes to taking on more responsibility. Yes to the many activities my kids want to participate in. Yes to teaching a university course. And a second. Yes to coaching soccer. Yes to writing this blog. Yes to writing a column. And a second one. Yes to joining a board of directors. Yes to a planning committee I wanted to be on. Yes to volunteering. Yes to helping. Yes to baking. Yes to dinner. Yes to moving. Yes, yes, yes.
Once upon a time, I decided to stop saying no so much and to try new things with a simple yes.
It began with stepping beyond my comfort zone, a worthy endeavor that enhanced my life experience. In the last four years, or perhaps slightly more, I’ve found a whole world beyond my doorstep. My life felt full and exciting, like a gift wrapped present I got to open again and again. And the more I said yes, the more I wanted to say yes.
All the yeses have been a powerful force in my life. I’ve learned so much about myself and my personal desires through them. And I’ve discovered how the skills I’ve developed in my professional life have applications far beyond the world of publishing.
But there’s room for no in life too. In fact, they are sort of necessary too.
Recently, I finally — reluctantly — said no to moving myself. Sort of. There I was, days away from when we were supposed to move, frantically looking for movers to do the job for me. Even with offers of help, I realized that I couldn’t stomach the actual physicality of moving furniture from one home to the other. Boxes I could (and did) handle. The furniture though had my stomach in knots.
So I shifted gears, accepted that my sanity is worth the expense, and found a service that would work within my budget. It was, ultimately, the best money I’ve spent.
There’s still moving to do. Closets need to be opened, drawers cleaned out and the basement repacked and moved over. I’ll get it done … especially now that the heavy lifting is all set.
We’re getting there … and I am coming around to the idea that maybe I can’t do absolutely everything. Yes, this is what too busy feels like.
If you’ve been wondering where all the recipes on SCB have gone, it’s just been a busy time and I needed to buckle down and get things done. New recipes will return this week. And, in the meantime, I suggest you check out a few of my fall favorites like Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares, Tomato Basil Fried Polenta with Blue Cheese and Potato Leek Soup.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.