When i was a little girl, my mother worked absurd hours to keep food on the table. She was always on the brink of collapsing (and on a couple of occasions did). We had this amazing babysitter – a grandmother type figure who would come and pick us up from school, take us to soccer practice and otherwise help my mother out. She loved us and my mother was beyond thankful for her help. One day, my mother came home a complete mess. I don’t know exactly what prompted it but Mrs D looked at mom and said:
“Kathryn, you need to learn a new word. It starts with ‘n’ and it ends with ‘o’. The word is ‘no’!”
The memory of this tale used to always make me smile, but i never quite got it. Nowadays, i’m trying to learn the same lesson. Like my mother, i’m always excited about a new possibility, a new opportunity. But i’m definitely cracking under the weight of what i’ve committed to. There’s nothing that makes me feel more guilty than flaking, yet i flake because i’m avoiding a more fear-driven action: having to say no. I want to be involved in everything, i want to be helpful to everyone; i want to be social and a workaholic. Much to my dismay, i cannot take on anything more for a while so i’m trying to learn the lesson my mother tried to learn 15 years ago. Of course, i don’t think that my mother succeeded.