Imagine you’re on a boat on your favorite source for aquatic leisure. Ok, that does sound pretentious but bear with me and imagine you’re on a boat. You’re happy to be there with friends or whoever else you might have brought with you. You’ve planned for a good afternoon on the water doing whatever it is you like. Water skiing, tubing, jumping off cliffs, swimming… Whatever it is, you’ve planned to do that. That was until your friends brought friends who brought coolers and other things that began to weigh your boat down. You’re OK with trying to drive the boat away from the dock and you’re ready to search for a cove to have some fun in.

Unfortunately for you, you don’t quite make it.

As you were loading the boat, you never checked the weight capacity. You never checked to see if there was enough room for all those coolers and extra bodies. So, with the heavy burden of things you cannot necessarily control, you sink. The boat sinks pretty quickly and pretty suddenly. I bet you didn’t really even notice at first. Suddenly the boat is in the water so far below you and you’re left treading water until someone either rescues you, or you swim yourself to shore.

Now, I know not everyone believes in themselves enough to swim to shore but a full blown rescue doesn’t always happen on time. If you’re lucky, someone nearby will have seen the catastrophe and rushed to your aid. It doesn’t even have to be that you’re unlucky, but if you aren’t full of luck then you’ll probably have to rescue yourself by swimming. I won’t lie, it might be a far swim. But it’ll be over eventually. You’ll be at shore sooner or later. Maybe then you’ll remember the signs that the boat was sinking. Maybe then you’ll have a chance to plan your next trip better.

And of course, you’ll realize I’m not talking about a boat.

I think sometimes we end up in this situation where we’re taking too many things onto our boat (ourselves). We’re rooted to so many obligations. We have school, jobs, families, and horses. How do you take it all on? Your boat starts to sink because you have so many things you bring onto it. I bet you’ve tried hard to keep it afloat, too. But maybe you can’t alone. I don’t think you can swim to shore carrying others. I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get out of the water when you’re so tired.

But, here’s the good news. Even if things feel like they’re weighing on you, even when things feel heavy and hard… you’ve survived all of your worst days so far, so your track record is pretty good.

Here’s permission to say no. To reschedule. To give yourself a break, because we all need one sometimes.

I’d also like to mention that sinking a boat is probably way harder to do than described above. Probably.