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juggling great expectations

November 16, 2009

It is not easy juggling the numerous commitments and obligations that fill my calendar.  There are weeks when I barely have time to clean my apartment!  Even when I do find time, I am often so exhausted all I can do is stare at a wall with a glass of wine in my hand.

I admit I have a hard time saying no.  It is a natural desire for me as a woman to give myself to someone or something.  As a single woman, I am grateful for the opportunities that allow that desire to be fulfilled, even if it is only temporary.  The problem is trying to divide myself between six or seven projects and relationships.  Each project and relationship has a different set of demands and expectations.  There are time commitments, duties, responsibilities, thought, effort, care and concern.  Trying to keep everyone happy is exhausting and can leave me feeling guilty when it’s not accomplished.

Many times I feel more is demanded of me because of the fact that I am single.  “Oh, Cecilia can do this.  She’s single; she has time.”  “Cecilia doesn’t have a family to take care of so she will be able to handle this.”  “Cecilia doesn’t have anything better do to with her time; she will be perfect for this project.”  Whether the project is large or small, it gets dumped on my lap.

I honestly don’t mind giving myself and my time to any of these little tasks, but I wish the expectations weren’t so high.  I am often made to feel guilty if I say no, as though my time as a single woman is not as valuable.  Of course, I realize this not always the intent or reasoning for those on the other end, but it can come across that way.

Some days it is very difficult to live up to the various obligations I have toward my family, friends and projects, all while working full-time.  I would much rather give myself to one major relationship rather than be divided among the many.  After all, that is how I, as a woman, was designed: to give myself to one significant relationship (my husband), and through that relationship give myself to any other commitments.

I know marriage will come in time, and I also know that being married will not eliminate my over-abundance of responsibilities.  Many of my married friends struggle with the same frustrations, plus they have the added expectations of their husbands and in-laws.  I’ve just noticed an influx of duties as of late.  I’m not saying all of them have been ‘dumped’ me in a she’s-single-she-has-time kind of way, but a few of them have seemed like it. 

Overall, I see this is a great time for me to hone my juggling skills, which is invaluable for any state in life.  I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to give myself to my family, friends and pet projects and for the lessons in time management.  I know I still have to learn when graciously accept or decline new responsibilities.  I just hope that is a lesson I learn before my calendar explodes.

photo c/o My Corner View

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