Monday Musings: Say No & Don’t Over Commit

no thanks

I’m a perfectionist…and that’s a problem when you are trying to be perfect in many areas.  Admittedly, I’m a work in progress.  Now, I try not to beat myself up if it wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it to be.

One of my barriers has been over commitment.  Last August, I set a new goal for myself.  (I don’t do resolutions at the start of the new year.  I set goals throughout the year as needed.)  I decided to reevaluate all of my commitments and eliminate some.  I also decided I was going to work on saying no and not changing that no to a yes when new opportunities were presented.

Because I have perfectionist tendencies, I strive to do everything I am involved in at a high level and at 100%.  It’s hard to consistently give 100% when you do not have the time.  Last school year, I found myself, multiple days a week, attending two-three meetings after work for various committees and organizations I was involved in.  I was also trying to balance being a good Christian, wife, mom, daughter, auntie, and friend.   Not to mention writing, working at IUPUI, taking graduate courses at Marian University, and being an avid gardener.  I was always on the go and hardly had to time just to breathe and take time for myself.  Everything was scheduled and downtime didn’t fit.  I didn’t like who I was becoming and I didn’t want the prevailing image my children had was of mom rushing out the door.

The first action I took, which was extremely difficult for me, was to request a replacement for the course Psycholinguistics for Reading Teachers K-12, I had taught at IUPUI for five years.  I have a replacement and this is my last semester teaching the course for now.  I love teaching at IUPUI, but I decided I needed to take a break.

Then, I informed an organization I was no longer going to be able to continue to commit my time to work with them.  My heart wasn’t in it.

My heartstrings pull me into saying yes when I need to say no.  When children of color are involved or people in impoverished situations need help, I want to help them.  A mentor told me, “It doesn’t always have to be you.  If you don’t have the time, but think it is a good cause then recommended someone else the person or organization should reach out to.”

This year, I have been less stressed and have had more time…but now I have some decisions to make.  I know in the next few days or weeks, I have to make a decision about employment, participating in a couple of organizations who have been reaching out to me, and whether I’m going to enter another program.

I remind myself of these four things when making a decision:

  • You can’t do everything well when you don’t have time.
  • No obligation should get in the way of family.
  • Only say yes if this opportunity will add value to your life and the life of others.
  • Say no and stick to it.

In a few weeks, once I work out all that racing through my mind, I’ll be back with an update about my decisions.







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