mad skills

Yesterday I wrote a letter that was hard for me.  After agreeing to something, I needed to back away from it.

I am a YES-girl.  I like to have things work.  I like the people around me to be happy.  I don’t like to disappoint people.  I don’t like the box that says “failed to meet expectations”.

I am an AND-girl.  I don’t like to choose between two things.  I don’t want to be limited.  Why can’t we do both?  I don’t want to miss out.  Again, I don’t like to disappoint people, including me.

Sometimes I have to say no.

Sometimes I have to choose.

And sometimes, other people won’t like it.  Especially if I’ve changed my mind. It would definitely be better to be clear in the first place, to not over-commit, to keep things in balance.

Um, I don’t have that all figured out.

The worst part about sending the note is that I hit the dreaded send button before a final review.  And there were mistakes in the note – the note about how I’d made a mistake.  And I still wasn’t totally clear.

So I worried and fretted.  I would have worried and fretted anyway, but now I had extra worry-fodder.

I sent another quick note, correcting the first one.  And then fretted some more.

My daughter and a friend were here, working on calculus, and bearing witness to my angst as I paced and second-guessed myself.

My heart ached and my gut wrenched.  I pictured my family reading my note. When I said, “I know what they’re going to say, I know what what they’re going to think of me,” the friend was impressed.

Wow.  You can read minds – in the future?  That’s cool!

Okay, when you put it that way, it does sound a little silly.  Those would be mad skills, indeed.

Maybe I don’t know what they’ll think.  I mean, with people you’ve known a long time, especially family, you think you know, right?  Maybe I don’t.

Kristina was a great comfort to me, encouraging me to stop being so hard on myself.  She made me a travel-mug of peppermint tea and sent me out into the rain and the woods with the dog.

I wouldn’t have done it for myself, but it was truly the best thing for me.  The walk calmed and soothed me where four walls could not.

I think I’ll do that again today.

While I wait for a response.


  • I am also a member of the rarely say no club. I recently had to write to the WWLUA board and indicate that although I had agreed to work on the board and do lots of really important stuff, I just couldn’t. I wish I could have been walking with you to share the load but perhaps our walk tomorrow will help lessen the burden.

  • I am also a yes-girl and an and-girl – and I hate disappointing people. So I totally feel you here. But I think we do tend to be too hard on ourselves (as I said in my post today). We can’t always know that people are going to judge us/be disappointed. And yes, I am a big fan of walks to restore perspective.

    • There is something about walking in rain that soothes me – that washed-clean air takes the edge off. Fortunately (or not), we’ve had lots of soothing this March. It has apparently not been our imaginations: this is the wettest March on record in Seattle. Argh.

      Thank you for understanding. I was in a pretty raw place. And yes, being too hard on myself. My daughter was an awesome support.

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