Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Learning to say NO

I'm sure I was good at it in some past part of my life. I don't know any two-year-old who can't say it. But I seem to be defective in the saying-no department these days. A couple years ago, I started down a path (a beautiful, tree-lined path) of saying no when I needed to. It was great. I felt just a tiny twinge of regret for the things I had to deny - just enough to remember why I would say yes when I did.

But then somehow I've slipped back into the yesses. I seem to always be eager to help, to go, to take, to make, to write, to deliver, to attend...

When did I become the YesMan again? Why do the words "it's my pleasure" always seem to accompany a lurch in my guts? It should be my pleasure. I like to do stuff. I like to be with people. I like to be thanked. Oh, there it is. I think I've just made a discovery mid-blog. I want someone to say thanks for the things I say yes to.

Will someone say it?

Don't count on it.

It could happen. I could be appreciated now and then. Or maybe the people who are asking for my help are so overwhelmed with their own responsibilities that they don't really remember that I'm there, doing this little thing I said yes about.

Once I heard someone say that before you commit to anything (ANYthing) you should say "Let me check my calendar. I'll get back with you." Then you have time to formulate your refusal, apparently. I need to write this down, tape it to each phone, tattoo it on my forehead (which comes in handy if I'm on the phone while looking in the mirror) and say it to myself like a mantra.

Let me check. I'll get back with you. I'm so sorry, I can't help you with that. Good luck.

Yeah, right. Like that's going to happen.

But it could, it could. Maybe.

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