Learning To Say No

I need this shirt.

Dearest readers,

I need to share with you a little story about how I failed in a rather grand way. In fact, it’s almost too embarrassing to discuss, but I know that I need to. I guess you could say that it’s a form of penance; a way to help me determine the path past this particular shortcoming of mine.

What did I do?

Well, it’s nothing so bad that the police might be involved. It won’t ever involve lawyers. I didn’t hurt anyone – although I guess I could be considered a danger to myself at this point. And as far as I’m aware, no one has died as a result of my actions.

What I did – and you might want to sit down for this – was attempt to take today off. Gasp!

Of course, since I’m confessing things I should offer full disclosure. I tried to take today off1. Sadly, I failed in a big way.

I knew my attempt was going to be a giant failure when I realized that I had booked a meeting today – having forgotten that I was intending to take the day off2. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had nothing planned for the day in particular. I just wanted to putter, or perhaps spend the day lounging around3. Regardless, after my meeting4 I ended up back in my office working. And then working some more. Before I knew it, I was in a second meeting working on a draft manuscript with a colleague. And then it was 5:30 and I was still in the office. And then I was at home reading a report from a student. And trying to maintain Inbox-Zero.

I’m pretty sure, like any kid, I used to say no.

Despite my fail, I did manage to get a lot accomplished. But, I really do need to learn to take a day off5. I’ve only used 4 of my vacation days for the year and the remaining days aren’t just going to vacation themselves. Obviously I need to get off my ass and get organized. You know, organized enough so that I can take a day off and sit on my ass all day. Ha!

Seriously though, vacations and time away from the grind are important. I can’t allow myself to forget that.

Ultimately, I think I just need to remember that it’s not just okay to say no, sometimes it’s necessary.

1 And yes, having written tried I now have the distinct voice of Yoda in my head saying There is no try, only do.

2 Even writing this makes me want to punch myself in the face for forgetting that I had intended to take the day off. Who does that?

3 Without pants, of course.

4 Which was rated at 0.5 Nbs, in case you were wondering.

5 When did I lose this skill? Gah!


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