I played hooky yesterday on a commitment I had. And I skipped something I had agreed to do today.
Whatever you’re thinking, that’s not me. I don’t like not keeping my word. I never want to be the one that is always bailing out on commitments. But it was me that said no three times in the past couple of weeks to things I normally would have been quite happy to do. And they were things I do regularly anyway.
To me, a day isn’t productive if you don’t fall asleep the minute your head touches the pillow (or sooner). To my way of thinking, if you’re bored, stir crazy, or unhappy you’re not doing enough. When we’re vacationing, I would much rather be exploring, sightseeing and experiencing than laying on a beach getting a tan (or in my case, a burn). When we’re at home, I’d rather be accomplishing things, finishing projects and finding new ones, than wondering what to do with the day.
So I hate not doing things. And I detest having to say no when I’m asked to do just one more thing.
But lately, I’ve done it anyway.
And there are plenty of people in my sphere that I should be doing things for. Cooking and cleaning and helping. Filling in and planning and listening. But I can’t right now. I have to say no.
I tell everyone else that there are phases in life, phases when it’s okay to say no to previous commitments, to take a break until things get back to normal again. In fact, I just told someone that the other day.
But sometimes I actually have to take my own advice. This is one of those times. And it’s hard to do. It’s so difficult to give yourself permission to step back and work on just the essentials. Keeping my family and home going, making sure my paid hours are done, working on the commitments that can’t be turned over to someone else. And then being okay with the result, even if it’s not perfect. And knowing that others will fill in the gap when I can’t.
Maybe that’s what my issue really is: being on the receiving end of others not being able to fulfill their commitments, and being the one to stand in the gap. I don’t want to be that person, the one who forgets, who postpones, who is late, who is undependable.
But then again, maybe the gap doesn’t always need to be filled. Maybe it’s open for a reason. Maybe my overzealous gap-filling gets in the way of other outcomes or possibilities.
So maybe it’s a good thing that I’m in a position to have to say no. It’s good practice, I suppose.
Just so long as it doesn’t become a habit.