There aren’t many things that Nancy Reagan and I have in common on the surface of things, but I’m finding myself more and more often thinking about her “Just Say No” campaign back in the 80s. This is not because peer pressure has been steering me toward drugs (thankfully). It’s because I’m really bad at doing it.
Got a social commitment that you need me at? Perhaps a playdate that adds chaos to my world? Some freelance work, you say? I have a really hard time saying no. But as this fall swings into full gear, my schedule begins to get unbearable, and I’m stretched far too thin, it’s time to learn how to say no.
Why can’t I ever do this? It’s born of two things, I think: 1.) not wanting to let anyone down; and 2.) not being able to accept that I can’t do everything. I’m a juggler, a multi-tasker. How else would work, writing for school, writing not for school, and my family all be coexisting in my life? So, to say no is to admit that I can’t do it all.
But you know what? I can’t. Right now, I’m trying to focus on what’s important and let the extra stuff fall a little bit by the wayside. I guess I’m the opposite of Ado Annie from Oklahoma. She “cain’t say no” but in a fun way. I’m learning to do the opposite in a sanity-preserving way. But check back in June. I bet I’ll be back to “yes” once again!