Or rather, “No, thank you.” Because I’m a polite and good girl, so I would obviously throw in some manners.

To go along with my previous diatribe about being Real, today I will tell you a little story about how I’m learning  to say No more often.

I’m not saying that I didn’t previously already know how to refuse to do something I didn’t want to do. I can cite examples: I quit my job, I don’t mop floors, I turn down questionable food and I never go on girls’ weekends because they frighten me.

What I’m saying is that I’m a very enthusiastic person–to a fault. I really enjoy so many things, and I’m sometimes overly helpful.  Often I find myself saying yes to something, or even volunteering without being asked (gasp) because I’m excited about the idea. Only later do I realize I don’t have the skills or knowledge or access to several hundred members of the Marine Corps I would need to actually complete the task.

So the last few weeks it occurred to me that if I want to enjoy some time with my kids this summer, I have to scale back and say No more often. The first thing I did was tell all my clients I’m not taking on new projects until August. Then I started scaling back on the volunteer work. (A separate blog post entitled: Field Day Planning From Hell will be coming soon. There is actually a lot more scaling back to do in the volunteer department).

But today I was at the top of my No Thank You game. I woke up feeling ballsy. There’s been this particular project I’m part of that has been bothering me all week. To be perfectly honest, I just felt that my responsibilities on the project did not match my own expectations at the outset.  (God, I hope none of my clients read this and think it’s them. It’s totally not you. It’s the other client, I swear). And where normally I would jump in feet first and try to make it work, today I decided: Nah.

I announced it in an online conference call with multiple other players, none of whom I’ve ever met in person. The silence was pronounced, as I very clearly turned down opportunity, and let’s face it, cash, in order to “focus on my strengths.” (My lead-in was, “I don’t want to seem mentally deficient, but….)

I felt bad for approximately 5 seconds.

After the call I went on a run. It supposedly relieves stress. Go ahead and laugh because that’s what I did, after I got to the end of the first mile. I stopped in the middle of the road and said to myself, “Nope.” Because, let’s face it–I don’t like to run and there is no room for it in my life. Then I walked home and ate the rest of the apple pie in the fridge. If there’s ever a time to say “Yes,” it’s when you’re entire family is out and there’s an apple pie in your fridge.

Obviously, since I’m so nice and all,  I said, “Yes, please.”

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