If you know anything about A.A. Milne’s beloved Winnie the Pooh series you’ll have heard of Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin, aside from being a dear friend to Winnie, is also his voice of reason. Pooh is good-hearted and means well, but, well, his head if full of fluff. And he is kind of deeply influenced by his love of honey. Thankfully, Christopher Robin is always there with a helpful hand and a timely word. He talks Pooh through some hairy situations (no pun intended.)
I was hanging out with a friend and she was telling me that she was trying to make a decision about a job opportunity. She felt like the extra money would be great, but it was coming at a really busy time and could either make her feel mildly stressed or actually put her through the roof. And I’m not talking about the kind of “putting you through the roof” where you want to eat an extra scoop of ice cream. I mean the kind where your over committal makes you feel so stressed that you want to curl up in a ball and sleep for three days straight. Not a good feeling.
We talked about how we constantly berate ourselves because we think we should be able to “handle more”. Hmmm. What does that even mean? Handle more than what? More than we already are? More than our neighbor? More than the general population were we to take a survey called How Much Can You Actually Handle?
Life is pretty full. Full of things you have to do, things you want to do, things you never seem to get around to (like that dresser that was a great price but adorns your garage rather than your bedroom because you never have the time to re-finish it.)
It was such a relief to talk to my friend and hear that I’m not the only one who deals with unnecessary guilt so frequently. I felt lighter when I left her house and I was glad that I could be there for her too, to help her feel less guilty about turning down the job that she was wavering on.
Friends like these are so valuable! Friends that don’t just tell us what we want to hear but the things that will actually help us take care or ourselves in the best possible way. Friends who recognize when we need to be talked into something and when we need to be talked out of something. The ones whose wisdom comes back to us when we need it. The ones who save us when we get stuck in a tall tree swarming with bees because we forgot that there’s more to life than just eating honey at all the time.
Be grateful for the Christopher Robins in your life. I know I am.