My limit

Did you hear that? It came from deep inside, a long, gut-emptying exhale, like the last few gusts of wind at the end of a blustery summer storm. That’s what I sound like tonight. I’m tired. I’ve had some kind of commitment every weekend since Labour Day. I’ve ignored my new set of rules, the ones where I minimize commitments, stay close to home and keep a low profile. The ones where I acknowledge my triggers and honour them.I’ve  allowed myself to be swept away like the fallen leaves, tossed and whipped about carelessly . This fall has been full, happy, but too much.

I’m tired again. Very tired. But not in a bad way tired, not the kind of tired that leaves my heart racing and overwhelmed, but the kind of tired that whispers gently but firmly, slow down or this will get out of control.

It’s time. It’s time to honour these shorter days with rest, quiet and solitude. I’m craving it. I’ve lost my centre, and I’m starting to feel it. It’s licking at old wounds, showing their dark and uncomfortable edges. There is a gentle tug inside myself and it’s keeping me from finding my balance.

Even though I knew this season of social obligations would be long, anticipated that I would reach the end and feel spent, I’ve allowed myself to just live it without consideration or worry for how I’d feel when it was over.  I’ve enjoyed the time spent nurturing new friendships and a budding neighbourhood community of families, I’ve thrown myself into my own family and all the fall activities we enjoy and, I’ve focused intensely on several important and exciting projects at work.

I’ve been busy. Too busy. I’ve lost my footing, slipped just a bit.

And now I’m tired. But I recognize it now, where only a year ago I couldn’t, when before I would push and push and leave myself unable to cope. Tonight I’m exhaling. I’m exhaling because I’ve reached my limit. My healthy limit. And I know, if I push it anymore, it will no longer be healthy.

So I’m sinking into the shorter days, anticipating the comforting embrace of longer nights spent cuddling on the couch and curled up in flannel sheets with a good book. I want to reconnect with myself, my writing, with all of you. I need to do this, to pull myself back together.

To find my centre again.

I wrote this as part of Heather at The Extraordinary-Ordinary’s Just Write exercise. Head on over if you want to learn and read more.



18 thoughts on “My limit

  1. Chantal says:

    I know what you mean. As much as I love this time of year the constant commitments make me jumpy.

  2. denise says:

    Oh yes, my friend. As I think you know, I hear the same call and always, always feel much more grounded, and centered, after heeding its wisdom.

    I’m so glad you’re listening. So, so glad. xo

  3. Lindsey says:

    Bravo to you for recognizing this, the push-pull of the inner-outer tension that I know so well. I can just picture you curled up on the couch with a good book. I hope it is absolutely restorative.

  4. Galit Breen says:

    I love this, and know it so very well. That center and how easy it is to flitter away from it.

    I love that you know how you feel, what you need, and are claiming it for you. You’re worth it!

  5. As much as I dread winter, I must say that I’m looking forward to slowing down, too. Well, this month. December is always nuts…

  6. Christa says:

    What is it about the fall that brings us to this place?

    Thanks for this lovely reminder, Christine. I managed, once again, to push myself to the point of getting sick – although not as sick as I have been in the past.

    Here’s to resting, caring for ourselves, and listening for the wisdom in it all.



    • Christine says:

      Indeed! A toast to this very thing, and to knowing how important it is to the both of us. I’m thinking of you, feel free to email if I can help in any way.

  7. CJ says:

    Social obligations remind me I am wanted. My presence is desired. People like me. At least enough to invite me.

  8. When the clocks fall backwards and darkness comes early on in the evening, it seems to impact the pace at our house. We are more likely to sit down beside the fire for the evening and read books, to have dinner early and spend the hours between eating and bed relaxing together, talking, just being. I love being able to close the curtains and envelop my little family inside our snug house. It gives me the sensation of slowing down. Who said there’s nothing good about winter?

  9. Cathy says:

    Self-care is so important. The hardest part – as you note – is to recognize when you need to pull in and take care of yourself.

  10. Alana says:

    Ah, the sweetness that comes of recognizing those inner whispers and listening, really listening, to ourselves. Enjoy the slower pace, the flannel sheets, the catching of your breath.

  11. Sarah says:

    It seems my limits change daily. And that is the most frustrating part. Not only for me, but for my kids, as well. I have a picture in my mind of peace and joy and yet it seems no matter how I strive for it, it’s elusive. Only imaginary. Like no matter what something will get in the way. Another obligation, another need. This is the hard part: figuring out how to still maintain those necessities while still paying attention to, and honoring, the inner whispers.

  12. Kelly says:

    I need to do this more often. I looked at my calendar on Friday and realized I have a full workload plus commitments every night for the next week or so. That’s a sure sign of over-commitment and shaky footing. Something has to give.

  13. MrsJennyK says:

    I love the imagery in this post. I can literally picture your exhaustion and your desire to sink into a quiet spot. Good for you for recognizing what you need.

  14. Jane says:

    When the nights get longer and the days shorter? My favorite time of year. And I’m NOT a night person. The shorter days force me to slow down and savor.

    And good for you for recognizing your limits. I’m getting better at it, myself. But, as with everything else, I’m a work in progress!

  15. MKCountryman says:

    I strive for assymetrical balance. Some seasons, its too much. And that has to be OK. If I can balance it with some slowness in another season. We have been taking it easy most of the fall and it has been delicious. Just starting to venture out again. And excited,not dreading, the busyness of the holidays. Yeah!

  16. Justine says:

    Glad to see you recognizing your limit and honoring it. Sometimes we get so wrapped up and blinded by obligations that we leave ourselves frazzled. By then it’s too late – the damage is done. But it sounds like you’ve stopped yourself just in time. Good for you!

    And curling up with a good book sounds delicious to me. After the holidays, that’s what I will look forward to. For now, the weekends are already booked 😦

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