The chair of ASIS&T@Simmons and I are supporting one another in a valuable endeavor this semester: saying no. No to another part-time job. No to taking on responsibility for some other program or thing at Library School (TM). No to the random things that people ask of us because we are always on campus.

Up until a point it is hard to say no. If you’re like us, you know what I mean. You stop and think about whatever the request is, mentally analyze your schedule and find the time where you could fit it in. During that pause, the asker is telling you more about the project, or explaining how much this favor would help them out. Helping someone? I am a sucker for helping someone. (Hi. I coordinate 30+ workshops.)

I also have this “I can do it, dammit!” attitude about many things, which is good and bad. Good because it helps me learn stuff. Bad because I don’t ask for help when I sometimes should, and when I could ask it of people who would be happy to help, or who at least wouldn’t mind too much. (I’m working on it. Almost.)But this week was the kicker. By the end of the first week of classes I wanted to say no to everything on this list (except classes and Annual. It’s cold here in November). Classes started on Wednesday 9/6; by Tuesday 9/12 I was tweaked out and tired to the point where had I not known better, I would have thought we were halfway through the semester.

Then, on Wednesday I was on campus from 8:00 am to 7:45 pm (though the Knitting Librarian was on campus for longer than I). Never much of one for talking on the phone, my conversation that night around 10:00 with the Gentleman Caller was, I think, rather entertaining for him. After the “what’ve you been up to this week” part, there was a pause in the conversation . . . longish . . . I was staring at the china cabinet trying to think of something to talk about with him that would require him to do most of the talking . . . I came up with something . . . then it was exhausted and the pause happened again . . . then he laughed and made a joke I didn’t understand (I either didn’t hear him right or it was a pop culture reference) and told me to go to bed. Which I did. Sadly, I was only slightly less tired on Thursday morning than I had been on Wednesday night. Not good.

I like to be involved and do all the cool stuff that I’m doing, but I am not going to run myself into the ground for Library School (TM), unless of course someone wants to talk to me about how they are going to pay for it, and reimburse me for the last three semesters. 😉

I decided on Tuesday evening that I had to rearrange my schedule, no question about it, and I went about beginning to do so that night. This was a little odd for me: For big-ish decisions like this, while I usually know what I’m ultimately going to decide, I like to get used to the decision before I declare it. Not this time, for a couple of reasons: waiting to make this decision would only make things worse, and the timing is good for changing my schedule (we’re hiring at the Tech Lab right now for other reasons, and so my supervisor was amenable to shaving some hours off my schedule. It’s not many, but it should help due to the placement of the freed time).

In addition, I have recused myself from being the Official Stitcher Who Does Stuff for the Stitch n Bitch and am going to try to rearrange my schedule at my other job (that should be pretty easy, given that I can do a lot of it at home). All this should help me find time for doing homework AND relaxing. (What a concept!)

Hopefully all of this will help. I suppose we’ll find out. If you see me half asleep in the library, poke me.

2 thoughts on “No.

  1. I have the same issues with “No.” I’m hesitant to say I can’t do something, or don’t have time for it, at work to my boss because what if she thinks I’m a slacker? Or can’t learn it? Or am not a good employee? The list goes on. I’m still working on it.

    Good luck with your new schedule!

  2. I think you come from a long line of “yes” sayers. As your 44-year old Aunt…I’ve found myself–ONLY RECENTLY–saying “no” to peoples’ requests. Still, a few “yeses” slip in every now and again! Stand Firm. Learn to “Just Say No” while you’re young and life will be easier for you as you grow older! PS…I should be a pro at saying “no”; after all, I say it serveral times a day, every day to my children!!

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