What does it feel like to be weightless?

I used to know. But that was a long, long time ago. The last time I can remember was during high school, when all I had was a day planner filled with homework assignments and weekends filled with PG-13 fun. Now, that day planner is filled with projects, appointments, plans, notes. Usually, when I look at it, I see more things to help other people than things to develop myself.

While I’d love to pack my calendar with “visit the museum” or “yoga at 6”, the fact of the matter is that sometimes I have to put the things I’d love to do on the backburner for the things I have to. And even though they sometimes feel like burdens, it helps to be able to remind myself that the causes I love, the work I am a part of is all for a good that is bigger than just me.

Still, no matter how altruistic I’d like to be, there are days when I just want to drop every responsibility, cancel every appointment, ignore the rest of the to-do list and simply run free. And though I can’t do that with my responsibilities, I am learning how to know the difference between an obligation and a burden.

This weekend on the phone with my girl from college, I was talking about this very thing. About how between the things I had to do and being pulled in different directions, I felt I had no time for being who I knew I could be. She said something that stuck in my head about choosing the relationships that mattered the most: “When you’ve got enough to carry- either they help or you hold.”

It is a simple concept but one that always proves true. In my stressing about the person I wanted to be to others, I had thought about the kinds of relationships I wanted in my own life. Those, no matter how packed a day planner may be, are created by mutual interest. So give yourself, give your time, give your heart but be mindful of the people who are working to help you with what you’re carrying and work to be that person to them too.

Today, assess the weight you are carrying.  Show your gratitude for the ones who help you and know those who don’t will make you stronger for the parts you have to walk alone.

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  • mztonichilds

    Oh my, this is my life. I have recently had to let some things go because it was becoming too much for me. I would get asked to do things, and I would feel guilty for saying no. I would end up saying yes, then kick myself in the butt for doing it. Then I found myself helping out people who couldn’t even say, “thank you for your time,” “can I buy you a drink,” so I had to remove myself from those situations. When you’re so invested in a group or a project and when it comes time to walk away because you feel that you’ve learned all you can, and it’s time to move on, it’s like a relationship break up, but that’s life. In order to be a better person, you have to move on from those things that no longer bring you joy and it turns into a heavy weight. Thank you for this article and I promise to keep this near to me and read it everytime I feel like I am a weight-full situation. A commitment is only as good as the present circumstance.

  • Just last night my mom had a similar talk with me about people, friends and family alike, I choose to do things for. Some people have no qualms grabbing the juice out of your life and walking away. As much as it is easy to point a finger after all is said and done, the question I’ve started asking myself lately is why would I even let this person do this to me especially when there were crystal clear signs?

  • Tamara

    Amen to this article and I agree with “CeeCee”- I have to continually ask myself “Why do you allow them to take from you, why do you allow yourself to only give and when you stand in need; why can’t you ask”? I find myself giving of myself to people that when I have a moment where I am feeling alone or need help are no where around. Not to mention that I do find it hard to ask for help yet isn’t that part of being here on earth to call on one another for help? I guess it’s back into my shell I go…