Giving something up is often hard; even when you know it's the right thing to do.
This is not a post about relationships (or chocolate), but about the relinquishment of tasks and duties that we have performed faithfully for some time.
We take these jobs on; to be the club treasurer or secretary, to edit the school magazine and three years later, we're still doing it – often with increasing resentment and bad grace. We would really like to be relieved of the duty, but fear that, if we don't do it, then it won't get done. People depend on us and we can't let them down. We start to feel trapped.
For some of us, our periods of depression are so debilitating we hesitate to take on any responsibilities at all, fearing that we will inevitably let people down in our bad times.
Last week I wrote my last post for a wonderful website that was set up just to take happy news stories into people's lives. We all need a dose of that when the regular news seems to spread only sadness and suffering. I had written every week for more than two years and it had been my first ever blogging role.
But I'm now writing for Moodscope, have my own weekly blog and am working on that novel. The first blog was becoming a chore, rather than a delight.
So, eventually, after much heart searching, I tendered my resignation. It was a hard thing to do, but the right thing to do: my heart just wasn't in that blog any more.
Yes, I will miss not bringing that little piece of happiness to people every week, but I won't miss the grinding anxiety of searching for good news stories, uploading them and writing about them. I feel much lighter in spirit and greatly relieved. A burden has been shed.
When we do take on responsibilities like this it's good to remember that we can always lay them down again. Actually, until we have laid them down, nobody else will come forward to pick them up. While Jon was writing for Moodscope every single day, it never occurred to any of us to offer him help.
It's a good discipline to carry out a commitment audit every so often; once a year, maybe. Our lives can get very cluttered with busy-ness.
But don't worry, writing the Moodscope blog is always a joy; I'm not giving this one up!
A Moodscope member.