Peace's blog: Sorry I can't make it!

Five little words but yet with such potent qualities that can make the difference between a healthy stress free day and a meltdown. 

Some days I find myself spread so thin, having promised to be here or there - I find myself feeling overwhelmed with all the commitments I have made and those people I feel that I can't let down. Sometimes I believe that these five little words "sorry I can't make it", is what we need to get comfortable with saying in order to have better relationships and healthier lives. 

The day was Saturday, having worked a full week - so many commitments inadvertently get shunted to the weekend. This weekend I promised to visit my friend who'd had a baby a couple months ago and I felt guilty that I hadn't visited yet, another friend had organised a networking event and I promised I'd come along to make up the numbers and for general moral support, my daughter wanted me to take her shopping this weekend for her upcoming birthday, another friend wanted me to write a letter of recommendation but failed to notify me earlier, I'm a Trustee on a board of a charity and a quorum was required at the emergency board meeting that had just been organised for that weekend. Additionally, there was some work to do around the house to prepare for a valuation.  

I agreed to all of these commitments which were just about enough assuming perfectly synchronised conditions - as the smallest mishap could tip the scales. Feeling the pressure I set out early to try to accomplish everything on my plate for that day - but through the day there were moments I was impatient and irritable. At the end of the day I managed to achieve most of the things on the list - but at the cost of not spending much quality time with my children - even impatient with them at times.

Essentially with this guilt, I didn't really feel like I'd achieved much that day and I felt more like a loser. In hindsight I wish I'd said "sorry I can't make it" to one or two of the commitments on my list that day. Whilst one or two people may have felt disappointed for a moment - they'd have understood and appreciated the fact that sometimes we need to pace ourselves. It's not practical to be all things to all and be there and here for everyone at the same time.

Sometimes you'll have to disappoint some people for your sanity and for a healthier relationship in the end. The key is to be ok with it. Now, when someone says to me "sorry I can't make it" - even if I feel a little disappointed, I do understand that they need to look after themselves. So the next time you hear me say "sorry I can't make it" - I hope you'll understand. 

Peace is a proud working mother with a hands on and supportive husband also in the city, together they have "almost achieved" a work-life-work balance with their children all under 9 years old. She has worked in the City for 14 years full time, mostly in investment banking, recently as Head of Operational Risk for a leading Insurer, and now as a Senior Manager in Risk for a leading Investment management firm. 

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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