It’s OK to not do everything

Published 9:42 am Monday, April 4, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

Last month, Shelby County Newspapers released our 2022 issue of PROFILE, a publication dedicated to highlighting members of the Shelby County community who shine. This year, the theme was a play on people who wear many hats or have several other hobbies in addition to what they do for their job.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and getting to know some outstanding people who really blew me away with their professions and hobbies.

I got to interview Theo Perkins of Harpersville, who is not only the mayor of the town but also a real estate agent, a pastor and a school bus driver. I also interviewed Ashley Kitchens, who is the associate dean of the Clanton campus of Jeff State and also takes part in the art of aerial silks and other various hobbies around town.

Both Kitchens and Perkins admitted they cannot sit still and love having their hands in so many projects. I can very much relate to them because it takes a lot for me to sit still and just… be.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized there are a lot of people in our generation that have this same mindset. “It’s OK, I can do everything. I can HANDLE everything.”

Some people can handle it, others, not so much. It took me a long time to realize that doing everything is not always the best thing for your mental and physical health. I think we’ve had so many people tell us as we grew up that we can’t be “lazy” and we can’t let others see us as lazy either. Working soothes the soul and staying busy keeps us out of trouble, right?

Well, the thing I’ve learned more and more through the years is that while some may thrive on staying busy and doing project after project, the majority of people need time to just be. My opinion this week may be a no-brainer to some, but I honestly found it revolutionary the first time someone said it to me: It’s OK to say no to something and it’s okay to just rest.

Resting for your mental health is not lazy and saying no to a project because you either can’t do it or you just want some time to yourself is not selfish. I think there needs to be more of an understanding that people can only handle so much and it is not a bad thing to set the boundary of, “I cannot do everything.”

I salute the people who can do everything and not get burned out. I really do. I am not one of them, and entering my 30s I’m finally realizing that is alright. It doesn’t make me lazy, selfish or weak to say, “I just need some time to not do anything.” I hope there are people out there who can read this and understand that as well.