I just resigned from a committee that I have been on for over a year. The committee was in an organization that I have been a part of for almost 5 years and at one point, I was in charge of. For the last couple of months, I have hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should stay on the committee or step down. The scope of the committee has changed, and what was at one time a 3-month commitment is now an ongoing, weekly meeting.
The organization is doing good work, and it is a group of people and a concept that I care deeply about. I have given many of my life-hours to this group, and it seemed to me that going forward I still needed to be involved because it was good and I cared and I had already invested so much.
But the truth is that I am no longer in charge of this group or responsible for managing the day-to-day happenings, and I have gotten busy in lots of new ways—some great and some complicated. My business is growing, my creative endeavors are beginning to feature more prominently in my life, and I am moving into a new place of working and diving headlong into constantly evolving projects.
I honestly thought I could do it all. Surely I could venture into the new and keep all the things I’ve cared about in the past and just keep adding so that I never had to say no.
But I can’t.
My time is not endless.
My energy is not boundless.
My mental capacity is not limitless.
And as much as it makes me sad to let go of something that is important to me, I am learning that the inherent structure of life and time demands choices, and choices require that I decide what I want. I am excited about all the good that came into my life because of my previous work with this organization, but right now, I am so excited about what I’m currently involved in, and since I can step down, I need to choose the new opportunities and projects in my life.
I have to begin to understand that letting go does not diminish the time I spent on something in the past, but to hold on to something that is ready to end will inadvertently diminish my ability to move into the future.
And if I’m honest with myself, I’m excited for the change. I’m excited to look back at the last couple of years and know that I worked hard when working with this organization, and it has been an amazing stepping-stone in my life. I am grateful for that time, but I’m equally excited that as that project winds down for me, new ones are pulling me forward into new places and new dreams.
Do you ever have trouble letting go or saying no to a project or a commitment that has run its course? How do you move into the new in your life while balancing what came before?
I think there is probably great power in being able to see the value in letting something end. At least for me, it feels like thankfulness and hope. Thankfulness for what that work brought into my life and hope for what is yet to come and the excitement of possibility. Two great things to bookend change.