I'm reading a book called, Amazing Things Will Happen by CC Chapman. I won the book from a promo on condition that I would write a review on Amazon. I haven't finished the book and hence haven't written the review, but I had to blog a bit on his chapter called, "Learning to Say No."
As my social media clientele has increased, my time has become committed to doing the things I promised to do for them. As a stay-at-home (now work-from-home) mom, this has some serious impacts on other things I can do.
Among them, my time commitment to PTA--what I have time to actually do is decreasing. Certainly, this takes people by surprise as I have had to say no to things I might have said yes to two years ago. CC covers a lot of import things in his chapter, to it I would add saying no when someone is trying to force you to say yes. I think men tend to be a bit more upfront, but women can be kinda tricky. Whether this is intentional or too much of beating around the bush, is up for debate, but feeling really forced happens.
I had an experience recently in which someone said, "Perhaps you could do something small like (info about small thing)." "Perhaps I could," I replied. And BAM, unbeknownst to me, I had just signed up for something.
I had only meant that if the stars aligned and the job was reasonable, small and the timing perfect, I could help with something--not necessarily *that* thing and definitely not in the near future. To my surprise, I received a follow-up email thanking me for "signing-up" and then more emails about doing this thing that I didn't want to do.
I had a whole internal struggle. Should I just find a way to do it or should I say no since I had never intended on signing up in the first place?
Ultimately, I said no. I explained that I already had serious time commitments and just couldn't do it.
As soon as I pressed, "Send" on the email, I felt lighter. It's like sorting through your stuff and getting rid of everything you don't use. Your drawers shut, your shelves are useable, you're not tripping over stuff that you don't need but somehow hang onto.
A friend of mine told me that after her year of being PTA President, she realized that she could spend the same amount of time doing good, only she'd get paid for it. I couldn't have agreed more. And, though at the time, I couldn't have imagined what I'd be doing this year, that was the end I had in mind too. But it also means that I no longer have the time for a huge PTA commitment. Which means learning to say no.