“How do you fit it all in? Do you ever sleep?”

These are some of the things I heard every day…and recently I realized that these kinds of comments had become kind of addictive to me. I liked being the woman who could do everything. Mother, wife, writer, teacher, book club organizer, writing club organizer, breakfast duty every day, etc, etc.

The truth was, though, that I was starting to run out of steam. I missed sleep. I was arguing with my husband more. When my children had homework issues, I had less patience. I suddenly didn’t want to be the go to person at work. “Leave me alone,” I thought. And it surprised me because I liked being that person who has a million and one ideas, that one who can stop what she’s doing and do your work instead.

But, I missed doing my work. And I really missed doing my work well. Smart people have been telling me for years that I should stop doing everything and get really good at one or two things. I pooh-poohed them because I thought I was really good at doing everything.

This week I am making myself step back and say no in order to give myself room to breath and be really good at one or two things instead. I gave up two freelance writing gigs despite the money. I cut down on a third. I told work that my schedule needed to be more balanced–luckily I work with an amazing person who completely gets it. I don’t know how I’ll ever slow my family down, but I’ve got some ideas.

And so, this morning, I have time–with a cup of coffee–to write a slice of life alone on the couch before everyone wakes up.  And that, as Frost wrote, has made all the difference.