Reflections, Thoughts and Opinions From Africa.
|Yesterday I ventured out of my house by car for the first time in six days. Yes, I have taken Solo for our morning walks, but because of the Easter weekend we encountered just one or two walkers in the three days we took to the street. Yesterday was the first time I've interacted with people in six days.
After delivering my lawnmower to be serviced, I stopped at the local supermarket to pick up a few groceries. My surprise at the complete lack of carrots on the shelves turned to annoyance, because now I would have to go to another shop to find a vegetable we add to Solo's healthy meals. At the till a cursory glance over the few magazines for sale quickly got rid of my annoyance because Footprints was proudly positioned among the South African magazines and another excellent local magazine called Zimbabwe Artist.
I did purchase Fair Lady, a South African magazine that has been a part of my life since I was a child, and was probably my first introduction to journalistic and magazine writing. After stopping at my local butchery (alas, no carrots either), and buying some sewing thread at Mount Pleasant Fashions I returned home. It was lunchtime, so I settled down with a few bits of fruit, a mug of coffee and my Fair Lady.
The article that attracted my attention is responsible for the title of this entry. The premise is that because so many of us are conditioned to saying YES we have forgotten how to say NO. because of the guilt we feel when we say NO - and this is exactly what happens to me - we end up over-committing to things we just don't have time to do, resulting in our own commitments suffering. In addition to the guilt we feel resentful, frustrated and angry... and those emotions are not good for our psyche. In addition, society has conditioned us to accept every single invitation that comes our way... a condition so common it's known as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Example: in January I attended a meeting held by a local Zimbabwe Tourism organisation. I do believe this organisation is really useless, but I went anyway... and wasted three hours of my life at a function that has done NOTHING for myself, Footprints or Zimbabwe. There has been another meeting since then, and this one we were expected to pay for, which reaffirmed my initial decision to not attend any more of their meetings.
Some of the points raised in this article:
Taking on too many things leaves little or no time to do one's own things.
The more we say NO the easier it becomes.
Turning down opportunites gives others the chance to step up to the plate and be responsible.
Learn to accept that honesty is the best policy, and most people are understanding when you cannot do something.
Make time for YOU.
I can do this. I have already decided to take more time to do the things that are important to me. This weekend showed me that I cannot please all of the people all of the time. And I think I am getting there... while editing an article this morning I needed to check a fact, so Googled one of the sentences. Immediately the exact sentence popped up as having been used in a 2012 article about the same resort by a Zimbabwean Journalist I've known since my days in PR in the 1990s! Plagiarism sucks, and he would have been pretty unimpressed to see his article reprinted by Footprints under another writer's name. On further inspection I found several of her paragraphs have been copied and pasted from different reviews and internet sites on the resort! I have returned the piece to the writer, asking her to edit it to avoid plagiarism.
Once upon a time I would have done that editing... NO MORE!!!
The difference between sucessful people and very successful people is that very successful people say NO to almost everything.