Thursday, March 9, 2017

When too many yeses equal no

You could say I'm feeling pressured these days, and it's my own fault. As someone who works on a very part-time basis most of the time, it's only too easy to feel guilty when I'm not bringing home much of a pay cheque. That's when I agree to doing too many other more voluntary kinds of things. I have the time, right? I'm so blessed in that regard.

But even I have a limit. With ten musical commitments between now and Easter, one of them as musician for a week long retreat in Montreal the week before Holy Week, I hit my limit yesterday. When I was asked to lead the music for the L'Arche community's Seder Meal, I think I shocked the Community Life Coordinator by saying no. She rephrased the question and tried again, and again I said no. It took her a few minutes to understand my no, and then she did not look very happy -- I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that I've never said no to her before (plus it means she still has to find someone to say yes).

As much as I would love to help, I just can't see my way to adding one more musical commitment to a pile of other ones: two this weekend, two more next weekend, the week in Montreal (I need time to learn some French songs for that one!), two rehearsals for Easter, two Good Friday events, and Easter Vigil. And that's just the musical commitments. There's also a greenhouse calling my name, appointments to make and keep, friends who are being neglected, and other life events (and family) to which I should attend.

No is the only way to go at this point. And it actually felt good to say it yesterday. Looking at all these yeses I've been saying, I suspect I should say no more often!

How about you?

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