I just gave the “your child can’t participate in everything” speech to the parent of yet another 6th grader trying to do it all, and it suddenly hit me: Why doesn’t someone talk to my mother! I can think of maybe four things at the school in which I don’t have some involvement, and I know my family members are in the same boat. My children are continuing the tradition in their jobs. All of us feel, though, that we must do this to offer quality service.
So, I’m wondering if maybe I’m doing a disservice to my students by not allowing them to learn early to juggle multiple activities with little sleep. After all, I am training them to be good leaders, and good leaders lead from the front. That means they will be super-busy leaders. Why not let them experiment early and then teach them how to pick and choose and learn to say “no”?
Saying “no” is an art. We who are super-busy are sometimes that way because we actually believe the maxim “If it is to be, it is up to me.” This makes us highly susceptible to false guilt. Just this week, I was asked to take on two more huge responsibilities. I did not feel guilty saying “no” to one and redefining the nature of the other responsibility so that I could successfully participate. I considered both a personal victory in my life because I did not allow myself to be guilted into yet another commitment.
Determining which activities are necessary to keep our job or grow our business or be considered an active member in our groupings is one of the hardest things we have to figure out, but it’s not impossible. Doing everything is impossible, but discerning in which we should participate and which we should not is not. Hard, yes... but not impossible!