Saturday, September 29, 2012

Just Say No!

Remember that Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man"?  Me neither.  Jim Carrey is something I tolerate in micro amounts, like cough medicine or crack.  But the premise of the movie - about a guy who says yes to everything in order to break free from his rut - has rattled around my brain this week.  I believe the movie sends the wrong message for the ADD audience.  We already say yes waaaaaayyyyyy too much.  We need to practice our "no, sirs" and "no ma'ams" and "you've got to be freakin' kidding me-s."

Take this week, for instance.  I found myself pricing kid clothes for a bi-annual consignment sale that I usually attend at a time when, really, I had zero free time.  In one day, I managed to double-book myself three times!  Drop off clothes at sale.  Volunteer at the book fair.  Get my daughter to piano.  Drive back to school for Open House.  Sprint to the sale to get first dibs on cheap clothes.  The family didn't eat until 8:00 and it was definitely 10:00 before the kids finally settled in bed.  I think I took that 70s women's lib idea of "having it all" a little too seriously.  This is crazy living.  In the mean time, every spare second that I had I spent designing a program for a literary festival (volunteer work) and grading papers that I'm dragging my feet to finish.  And prepping for class.  And getting up two-three times a night for puppy duty.  Generally, I'm a slow-moving, contemplative creature.  This pace might make havoc with my metabolism. 

I remember a night, back in my twenties when I still worked retail at a local bookstore, when I complained to a friend that I felt overwhelmed with obligations.  Most of these were social, so really, what was I complaining about?  Being popular?  Poor thing!  But, my friend (who was a wise old 35-year-old) told me, in response, that her favorite word was "No!" and that I needed to practice saying it.

Isn't it funny (re: sad) that we are often doomed to repeat our silly mistakes.  Here I am, almost twenty years later, still saying yes too many times.  To appease and please.  To feel good about myself.  To assuage guilt.  To build up my resume.  To make a little extra cash.  Meanwhile, what will my kids remember of me when they are my age?  Mommy was always rushing off somewhere.  Or, Mommy was always on the computer finishing work.  Well, I say "You've got to be freakin' kidding" to that.