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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Just Say No!

Over Committed

Do you ever remember a time in your life when you had no need for an appointment calendar?  When you first got one, do you remember having to make-up things just to fill it with?  Then all of a sudden like a snow ball rolling down the hill you were adding more than you were crossing off the calendar.  Some people never understand how you get to be so busy in life, and consequently don’t know how to get off of the merry-go-round!

A person once approached me about joining a certain pyramid type function (networking activity).  I won’t mention the name of the enterprise because if they have achieved the kind of success they were aiming for, everyone on Earth and at least two thirds of the people in Mars are already involved.  I’ll only say that it involves drawing little circles (no it’s not the Olympics).  I responded with a firm “no thank you,” He wanted an explanation, and I was only too happy to give him one.  I told him that for a long time I had a very good friend that would periodically meet with me for breakfast or lunch on a moment’s notice.  Soon after she was recruited to the sales/networking effort she never had time to meet with me and so we lost the friendship.

The man explained to me that, that wasn’t possible because their operation was a matter of allocating only whatever time you could spare.  That is the way they draw you in, and soon after you agree to join them they practically move in with you.  In this instance and every other instance the simplest thing you can do is “just say no.”  Most of my life I’ve had to use more than one appointment calendar at a time, because I needed to keep track of multiple activities, and I justified it by thinking well, I am very busy because that’s how it is when you are working your way up.

Then I retired and continued to maintain two digital calendars, until one day I realized, that I am supposed to be winding down not the other way.  Often I would find myself at a golf course playing 18 holes and having to leave my foursome early because of a conflict with another event.  Almost always I would regret having accepted an invitation to play golf knowing that my schedule wouldn’t allow it unless everything worked out perfectly and there were no delays in the game.  Regrets should be thought out before hand to avoid possible scheduling conflicts.

I try to maintain a more relaxed schedule now.  I won’t agree to invitations that are spur of the moment unless it is nearing an emergency level activity.  At this point in my life there isn’t too many things going on that can’t wait a day or two.  I’ve learned that it’s not possible to please everybody, and you shouldn’t even try.  I’ve come to learn that no one died and left you in charge.  You make assumptions such as; if it’s to be it’s up to me (not so).  It’s perfectly all right to be ambitious, but no need to overload.  Another favorite saying that I recently learned is; lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine.

I’ve always taken pride is saying that I work best under pressure, that I have the perfect personality to deal with overload and stress.  I may have been right, but I am finally learning to be more laid back.  I also firmly believe that stress kills, you may not just drop dead, but on final analysis it will cut years from your life.

I need to be more careful because I am spending so much time with my grandchildren that all of a sudden the afternoon nap is starting to look very enticing.  I am getting a little old to start picking up new habits.  I haven’t totally perfected “just say no,” but I am continuing to work on it, and making progress. The best is yet to come….

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