Don’t overextend yourself

In the movie, the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, during the song “A Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place” Dolly Parton sung “Don’t let your mouth overload your capabilities”, and when you think about it, that is very good advice.

In my life I have wanted to help everyone I could, and I wanted to everything I could to please people. For the most part I have been successful at doing both, but there are times that my good intentions of doing it all failed, leaving me alone in crash and burn mode.

A few years ago, when I found a club I liked, I leaped without looking and I paid the price.

I was eager to take on the responsibilities of an officer role within weeks of joining the club.  I never said no to joining any committee or helping a fellow club member with any project.  I even started working with people higher up in the organization when they asked for my help.

I was doing great.  I was impressing people and my reputation was spreading like wildfire.  Before I knew it, other clubs in the area and surrounding areas wanted me to help them and serve as an officer in their club.

I knew I needed to stop accepting new responsibilities, but it is hard for me to say no when someone asks for my help.  Besides, I was happy, and I was feeling blessed by helping others.  I loved feeling needed and my ego was growing, not to mention my self-esteem.  I was feeling connected with my peers and with my community

Over time I started to feel depressed and I was beginning to burn out.  I was on a committee that was causing me stress, anxiety and keeping me up at night. I was doing more for the club (without pay) than I was doing for my own business

The joy and happiness I felt a few months earlier had changed.  I was now feeling unhappy, burnt-out, and trapped into responsibilities and commitments I no longer enjoyed.

Resigning or quitting were not options.  As a man of integrity when I say I am going to do something, I do it come hell or high water.  So, I kept on going until I crashed and burned.

Seven months after I joined this club I loved; it was all over.  I had forfeited all my responsibilities and had left the club that I loved in disgrace.

The morning that I began my crash and burn was a stormy Friday morning.  I sat on my walker, at the edge of the driveway with the rain pouring down on me.  As my windbreaker became soaked in the rain, I was soaking something more important into my heart, mind and soul – the life lesson of knowing when to say no.

It is a lesson I will always remember, don’t overextend yourself or you can loose everything you worked so hard to build for yourself and your future.