Learning to Draw the Line
I wasn’t born with much of a selfish gene. I’m very much like my Mom and Grandpa: a giver. Saying “no” doesn’t come easy to us because it’s just not something we do too often. Or ever?
Lately life has forced me to say no, to learn how and where to draw the line. Working two full-time jobs in only 40 hours will do that to you. I spend a lot of mental energy weighing priorities and choosing what I’m going to spend my time on, knowing full well that it means neglecting certain tasks out of necessity (something I really hate doing).
Tonite I had to do this personally too. I’d been busting my buns at work trying to get everyone what they needed and also get done what I needed to do. I knew around 3pm that leaving at 5 was a joke. Never gonna happen. But I also knew I had to because I was on J-slice duty to get him to soccer practice. (John was heading to his house to work on one of the last remaining projects. Yay!)
I left work late – around 5:30 – ran into the library to grab the book I had requested that came in, and zoomed home. I grabbed a bunch of snacks and my book, threw them in a bag, and J-slice and I hopped into the car. We rounded the corner and ran into traffic. At this point I was thinking, “man, I really don’t want to do this.” We were already late for practice, I knew I had a bunch of things to do tonite, and ALL day long I just felt like something kept popping up that prevented me from doing what I really wanted to do.
I decided to put an end to it.
I asked J-slice how he felt about skipping practice and he wasn’t upset. So I pulled over and called John. “Do you mind if we don’t go to practice?” He said it was up to me so we turned around and went home.
I got to make dinner instead of munching on pretzels at soccer practice wishing the minutes away. I got to pick up a few items at the grocery store and even get J-slice dessert without feeling rushed. I got to do laundry! I’m here blogging! If we had gone to practice, none of that would’ve happened.
Sometimes you just have to decide where your line is going to be and draw it. I normally don’t bail on sports practices; I firmly believe in making a commitment to a team. Tonite was about so much more though. It was about setting priorities and sticking to them. It was about putting myself first for once and saying “you know what, I can do that, but it has a negative impact that I’m not willing to accept so I’m just not going to do it.”
I said no. There. I did it! Aren’t you proud?
Are there certain things you can say no to and certain things you just can’t? Or people? What’s your secret for knowing where and how to draw the line?