Sunday, October 18, 2009

Off-kilter - by my own design

Things I'm good at saying "no" to:
  • Requests to have my photo taken for display.
  • Offers of naughty substances.
  • Enticements to view R-rated, pirated, or otherwise shady films.
  • Telemarketers' probes.
  • The mandatory Shell super-deal question.
  • Suggestions I sing in public.
  • Offers for help when I can help myself.
  • Invitations to shave off all of my locks for charity.
When I'm very, very bad at saying "no":
  • All other times.
My difficulty in uttering this assertive, decisive syllable has become more apparent of late. With the line between service/charity and becoming an exhausted, sick slave becoming very blurred, I have agonised over the occasions I have supplied this response in the last month.

Due to my upbringing, nature, and role models, and my interpretation of them, to respond "no" to a request that I perform a task connotes a number of unpleasantries:
  • Unwillingness to serve or general unrighteousness;
  • Disrespect;
  • An admission of inadequacy to do the task, or be a "super lady" that will make time to do the task;
  • A reflection of how much I love or care for someone; and/or
  • Rebellion.
When really, an intelligent and wise human might argue the word is, at times:
  • Empowering; and
  • Essential.
Haki regularly reminds me that saying "yes" to performing tasks can be far worse. Say, when:
  • Agreeing doesn't help the individual asking;
  • I am sick;
  • I am already very busy and close to being stressed (the state Haki wishes to avoid finding me in at all costs);
  • There is someone else that should be doing it / the request is inappropriate / the person is being lazy;
  • I haven't done the same task for my own family; and/or
  • I really don't want to do it (and therefore would be doing it grudgingly, rendering the service pretty much null and void).
I tendered my resignation as a full-time teacher recently. I am 100% certain about this decision. I want more than anything to be home with Esky. If I am required to take on paid work, then that is where I'll do it from.

YET...when my principal called upon receiving my good-bye letter and expressed his disappointment, saying, "We'll miss you. Is there no capacity we can have you in? Is there any way I can convince you to come back? You're a valuable part of the team, you know. You are. You are," I was a hair's breadth away from saying, "Okay! See you tomorrow!" What? What? What is wrong with me?

Furthermore, less than a month after reigning myself in during this conversation, I found myself in the same principal's office being offered another role - sitting on my hands, so as not to thrust one out for an accepting handshake.

I shake my hanging head in shame at the recollection.

And the past few weeks have been no different - I have found myself spending a vast amount of time doing things for others - something which, in and of itself - I find a good thing. But, there were so many things, that I didn't have time to just enjoy Esky. Oh, I still loved every moment we were spending together...but we were never just spending time together - because I had said "yes" to so many little jobs, I was always doing one of them, and Esky was along for the ride, nestled in between my legs while I worked, or watching from a high chair as I narrated what I was doing. I also didn't have time to sleep. Thus, off-kilter.

But I am doing my darnedest to get this sorted. I think I'm winning.
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