Wednesday 20th December 2017

I’ve come to the conclusion that I spend too much time doing things for other people.  This is mostly my fault because I say yes when I’m being super-productive and can manage “all-the-things” but bites me in the ass when I’m run down or busy.

Just taking a couple of weeks off doing anything swordfighting related has made a massive difference.  Yes, there’s part of me that gets a bit twitchy that the blog hasn’t been updated or that someone else has to sort out the dues, but I’m burnt out by it all.  I said I’d take on the dues for a couple of months which has turned into 6 months and the number of people messaging me just sets my anxiety off.

So by saying a big “fuck it” and taking time off everything I feel so much more centred.  I feel calm.

But this extends far beyond just swordfighting.  I go out of my way to help friends, and to be fair, most of them go out of their way for me in return.  But I’m afraid to say no.

If a theme is shaping up for next year at all, it’s that 2018 will be the year of priorities.  I cannot do all the things, and I need to be better at saying no (or no longer).    Whilst I don’t want to leave anyone in the lurch, I’m sure they understand that I can’t always help even if I’m the only guy they know who can.

It’s been quite the revelation today.  I had thought that 2018 might be the year of working smarter but I think priorities is a better fit.  I do have to work smarter but there are going to be times in the next year where things are going to be diametrically opposed.  Up until now I’ve been stressing out trying to keep everything in perfect balance, trying to please all people all the time.

That means if I have book work to do, I might have to drop other things.  And, if I’ve warned people this might happen, I’m not going to feel bad leaving people in the lurch.  It’s their risk.

It’ll mean saying no to more things, and I’ll admit that I do find that a little scary.  I’m all for following up opportunities and seeing where they go.  But I can’t do all the things, and perhaps my career has now got to the stage where I’m only looking for specific opportunities.

I also think the Year of Priorities will be a challenge.  This will be a year of learning where I followed the right ones as well as the wrong ones.  But, hey ho, personal growth is good.

So unless I have a major change of heart in the next week, 2018 will be my Year of Priorities.  It means focusing on the most productive stuff, cutting out the shit, putting books and edits over everything else, and not being afraid to tell people that.

I just hope 2018 won’t be a year where I become a little too selfish

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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