Friday, July 3rd, 2009 • 7 Comments on Letting Go and Saying No
I feel a bit of weight has been lifted off my shoulders these days. Or maybe the weight is just shifting to my midsection. In any case, I no longer feel like I’m suffocating and that’s a very nice feeling indeed.
I’ve been saying no the past few days. It’s a word I’m not particularly fond of, but oddly enough I find myself embracing it right now. Normally, “No” smacks of negativity and failure and inability. Lately, the word brings peace. After beating myself up for my lack of productivity lately, I decided to take the advice of some very wise writers I know. So, no more beating myself up and no more taking on projects I’m not passionate about. Just say no, right?
Oh, but it’s hard. Hard to say no after I’ve said yes and hard to say no the first time around.
I also said no to teaching in the fall. I could have done it. I could have, but I don’t need to. More importantly, I don’t want to. I don’t want to be worried about my due date coinciding with essays and grades. I don’t want to feel like I need to drag my computer to the hospital when I deliver just so I don’t miss a frantic student’s e-mail. I don’t want to give less than 100% to teaching and wonder if it affected my students’ grades. I’ve already wondered that about this past semester when I know I gave them everything I could. So, I’m taking the fall semester off from teaching and maybe the spring semester, too.
After much consideration and some disappointment, I’m also saying no to the RWA conference. That was the hardest one to say no to, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the most of it. But it was my doctor who made that decision for me when he said on Monday he didn’t want me to travel for at least the next few weeks.
Which brings me to the catalyst that has brought “No” so easily to my lips. Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I have resisted the label “high risk” (and the more dire label “very high risk”). I have mostly felt great and I have laughed at this notion that just because I’m a certain age and have a few health issues that I should be acting like the sky if falling. And yet… I think I finally recognize that label for what it is: a warning. I’m dealing with some unexplained (and inconsistent) high blood pressure right now and while I still feel pretty good 90% of the time, I know that I can’t take it for granted that I will feel this good for the next 5ish months.
So, I’m saying no for right now to the things I’m not passionate about so I can say yes to the things that matter. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I’m learning it.