Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Saying "NO" is so liberating

I started saying "no" a few years ago, but it really takes a lot of practice for it to really come out naturally. I guess that we complicate our lives by taking on more than we can do well. So many times we say "yes" because it's something that we'd like to do, or want to do because someone has asked. More often than not, at least in my case, that new obligation creates a level of stress that was unnecessary, but now because of the commitment, is impinging on quality of life because there really isn't enough time in my schedule to complete the task well, or worse, the completion of that task puts a drain on family obligations that should have taken precedence.

Sounds dramatic? Maybe not, but every meeting, every committee, every activity that I take on becomes a drain on my time, which I don't really have much of since I went back to work full-time last spring. It's just made me a bit more selective in what I do, but the benefits for me have been great. I have a bit better control of the home front, although there are still days where I fall short of my expectations. Nevertheless, I think my mental health is way better, and indeed, less stressful. My blood pressure is doing way better, too, and that's the big bonus there.

So today, I was scheduled to ring the bells for the Salvation Army at a local mall. Believe me, it wasn't something that I sought, but it's one of those things that I have to do as part of my employment obligation--that is, we are expected to complete a certain amount of community service. My roomdog, Mary, as John calls the woman I temporarily share an office with, gave me an out today. Someone else was going to the ringing of the bells, so I didn't have to go. Woo-hoo!

I was prepared, with my camera in the car, to take many pictures and mock the experience here, but alas, reason and practicality kicked in--I have a lot of grading to do, and I have a class to teach, so I said, No!

Too bad for those of you expecting to see me playing Santa! A part of me is sorry, too, but a greater part of me is very relieved to be sitting in my office, getting ready to grade an ever growing stack of papers.

Nevertheless, I'll ring the bell from here. There are many organizations that need your support at this time of year to set their budgets for next year. Consider making a charitable contribution today. Check out my favorite organization and send them a check!

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