Just Say No…to Almost Everything

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!

Gone About as Fer as I Can Go

This has been a very, very long week. Between work, family, and getting ready for my upcoming MFA residency, there hasn’t been much time to blog. Or to do much of anything else.

But now it’s Thursday night. Residency starts tomorrow. And tonight my brain takes a break from everything. I might watch a movie. I might sit on our porch and listen to the birds sing themselves to sleep. I might read, but only for fun. I’ve turned off for the night.

Because sometimes you can push yourself, and push yourself…and push yourself. Then, like Kansas City, you’ve simply “gone about as fer as you can go.”

Tomorrow, I dig back into residency preparations, and then get to see my friends and fellow students on campus and beyond. And I’m looking forward to that more than I can. But now, I’m on the couch, surrounded by pillows and my loves, taking it real easy!