I have a hard time saying no to people and things which has led to my life becoming over cluttered in all sorts of ways.
A couple of years ago I was bounced into taking on the role of treasurer to a local organisation I am a member of. Then then treasurer clearly had a friend and myself in his sights as then relatively new members who would eagerly take on the job. I had that feeling in my stomach that this was something I did not want to take on but eventually agreed.
I met up with the treasurer and he talked me through how everything was done. Now I have been self employed, had to pass an accounting exam to qualify for my job, and learned how to do financial analysis when I did my MBA. I’m not an accountant, but understand figures. The treasurer’s daughter, an, accountant, had set the accounts up in such a way it was impossible to understand them. I did panic at first, but then decided I was going to simplify the accounts in a way a normal human being could understand them.
I battled on with the job for two years, but with everything else going on found it was an unnecessary stress I did not need. It was the little things like having to remember to take all the cheques to pay into the bank at lunch time while I was at work, people coming up to me and asking if they had paid their subs this term (duh?). The bigger things were others approaching me and telling me that the treasurer should be involved in fundraising. (This from somebody who is retired).
Over the two years I gradually ran the role in the way I wanted. I set out a list of things I would not do. These included chasing people for subs, taking a register at every meeting and fundraising.
I had intended to carry on for another year, but when the chair announced she was standing down next year, I decided it would be better to finish now and not have two roles vacant at once. I found a volunteer to nominate for the post (this is somebody who is semi retired and has plenty of spare time) and handed it over last week.
I had a few misgivings beforehand – was I letting people down, should I have carried on for another couple of years etc etc. However, having done the deed, I now realise how much extra background stress I was carrying. My whole mind feels lighter.
What I have learned from this is that I should never ignore the warning feeling in my gut about when it is not right to do something. Secondly, I have to manage my time – it simply isn’t possible to take on something like this with my life at the moment how it is. I work full time and have outside work interests such as playing the violin. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Finally, I have learned not to feel guilty about wanting to make my life simpler.
Have you ever taken on one job too many? How did it affect you and what did you learn?
Until next time, Tawney x