How do you want to live your life? If you want to make any changes you’ll need to wrestle with that question. Often we get so caught up pursuing the "American Dream," and following the dictates of others, that we fail to ask ourselves what we want. It’s as though pursuing the dream lulls us to sleep.
Too much automatic pilot mode can make you feel dissatisfied. Failure to identify and meet your own needs, clips your wings. Assisting others and following through on commitments can be accomplished without losing yourself in the process. The toll of ignoring your needs is too great. I’m not promoting selfishness nor encouraging you to ignore others. My suggestion would be to keep your needs in focus. To borrow an adage from personal finance, “pay yourself first.” My intuition suggests that if you had more resources, time, money, acceptance, gratitude, or creativity, you would have more to give to those you care about.
Lack of self-awareness may be preventing you from reducing stress and increasing personal satisfaction. If you are working yourself so strenuously that you’re over-extended emotionally, financially, and physically, you can’t be happy.
We all need time to reflect. It’s OK to interrupt what you’re doing to give yourself what you need. Repressing your feelings and desires can make you disappear from your own life. It never works to show up in everyone else's life but your own. Breaking out of that habit requires pressing the reset button and reorganizing your priorities in a more sustainable way.
What would your life be like if you had more disposable time? I don’t imagine you would fritter it away. I believe you would read a book, start a creative project, go to the gym, organize your stuff. These kinds of pursuits would rejuvenate you, increase your confidence and overall competencies, enabling you to meet your other priorities more creatively.
What do you think would happen if you took the time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and priorities? You’ll have to decide if you want to stage the experiment and find out. It’s worth a try. You’re worth a try. Your family is worth a try.