being a teacher

On Saying No More

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I have realized in the past week that self-care is something I need to plan for. Is something every educator needs to plan for. That no matter what we do, which role we play, we can always feel like we are not enough. Like there is not enough of us. But I have also realized that that is not true.

 There is enough of us but just too much of other things.

 There will always be more coming at us, no matter what we do. There will always be that one thing, that one opportunity, that little thing that someone just would love for us to do and if we could just squeeze it in that would be great.

But I don’t want to squeeze anything in.

I want to be fully present.

To give my best when I am there.

To step away when I am not.

To not apologize for taking care of me.

I have realized that the time you give should be a gift and if whatever you are giving your time to doesn’t feel that way then perhaps you shouldn’t be giving your time to it.

I have been reminded that saying no is not a privilege but a right.

I have been reminded that I am enough, but to stay that way, I need to preserve, reserve, and conserve.

And I have been reminded that too many of us feel the drain, feel the rush, feel the need to be everything for everyone and that we are killing ourselves in the process.

We don’t have to.

We just can’t forget that.


11 thoughts on “On Saying No More”

  1. Jody Carrington is a psychologist and speaker that I have been to a couple of times. I quote her often as she speaks on compassion fatigue and how teachers do not care for themselves enough. Her line that really hit home for me was, “You can’t light yourself on fire to keep others warm.” It has stuck with me. When I feel that is the only option I take a step back. This is a great reminder. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for this! Your post hits a chord in me because this summer I am enjoying every bit of it by indulging myself on things I want to do other than writing and revising curriculum for the next academic year. 🙂

  3. Your message resonates with me as both a teacher and mom! As I’ve been working through my own struggles, my therapist reminded me that self-care isn’t about “filling up so you can pour out more”…remember that you are worthy of care and time just because you ARE. Keep taking care of you…you are enough.

  4. So true – Pernille! I am just now becoming conscious of what I can an cannot do for others. I’ve spent a lifetime giving – burning my candle at both ends. My mother, who was a 2nd grade teacher for 25 years, would always end our conversations with: “Be good to yourself.” More and more I’m now beginning to understand exactly what that means. There is a great book on teacher self-care that I just came across “Practicing Presence” by Lisa J. Lucas. Thank you for all you do! You’re reaching many people who you don’t even know you are reaching and helping!

  5. Thank you for another great post on a topic I need to pay more attention to for my own health. You said some wonderful things. Your passion and enthusiasm is an inspiration and your words on this topic gave me comfort.

  6. A-freaking-men, Sister!!! This is so true, and we as educators are so prone to always saying yes and giving everything at the expense of ourselves. Reminders like this are necessary!

  7. Thank you for this. In our efforts to be the “perfect” wife, Mom, daughter, friend, I think we lose sight of the fact that we are imperfect beings.
    And that’s ok.
    We need to accept that within ourselves and ask those that really love us to accept that too. So stop trying to be that super everything and just be—be there for your family, friends, and most importantly be there for YOU.
    I know you are doing what’s right for you…..and we’ll still be here when you are ready to share yourself with us. Thanks, Pernille😍
    (Little Chris)

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