I said to myself - over and over again - that when I went back to work, I was not going to fall into the same crazy and over-stressed routine that I had been in before. For the most part, I've been successful. I'm busy, but I've generally felt okay about the balance. Lately I've been taking on more at work, because there's that part of me that wants to achieve and be recognized, and also because the tasks I've been taking on are interesting and important to me. Most importantly, I felt like I had the capacity to do these things.
I was recently asked to take on something else, and I hesitated. It is so difficult to say no, but I felt like I had reached my limit. If I took this on, something else would be sacrificed. It was uncomfortable, but I ultimately said no. I immediately felt guilty about it, and I've felt guilty ever since; but I continue to remind myself that I can't do it all. At least not at the same time. Perhaps the next time this opportunity comes up, I'll be able to step up, but not now.
It can be hard to accept this type of self-imposed limitation, especially in my business. A business full of young, ambitious people. But I think I am (mostly) at peace with it. I have other priorities in my life. I will work hard, but I will also ensure that there is room for everything else. There is so much more to life than work.