I recently played the piano for an event. The man who hired me asked me to learn a particular song and he searched through an enormous box of sheet music trying to find a copy for me. He pulled it out and glanced at the title.
"Hmmm, I can't remember if this is the right one," he said uncertainly. He handed it to me and asked, "Could you just hum that for me so I can tell if this is it?" I took the sheet of music and focused on the first line, a confusing mixture of 16th notes, scales, and crazy rhythms that would take me an hour to figure out on the piano. "No." I said, bluntly. He looked a little surprised by my answer, but I only shrugged.
I've been thinking about limits lately. Everyone has them. I've always been one to preach that you should stretch your limits, go outside your comfort zone, do things you never thought you would ever try. I still believe those things, now more than ever, but there is a difference between those kinds of ambitions and goals, and one's personal or emotional limits. There are times when I just have to say "nope." It's just one thing too much for me.
And I learned that today from my little nephew. Sleepy, cranky, and overwhelmed, little Zach tried to get through lunch at McDonalds. And when his mom asked him to sit down and eat his chicken nuggets, his answer was clear.
"Nope. It's one thing too much right now."
I guess sometimes you do have to make yourself a priority, take a step back, and realize your personal limits. After all, "Better bend, than break." (Carl W. Buechner)
"Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality." -Henri Frederic
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