Thursday, May 5, 2016

Youth and Age and Boundaries and Saying No

This past weekend, we went to the Botanic Gardens here locally. They were hosting a Children's Day celebration, which meant that there were amazing activities and experiences planned all day. It was also snowing, which meant that we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I joined my husband and 7 year old there after dropping my daughters both off at college for the day. GASP. That's a whole different story, one that still induces a bit of panic and denial, but they were there to attend a STEM program for girls put on by the university students.

Breathes into paper bag for a moment.

Anyhow, while we were at the Gardens, one of the events was foil art. I'll be doing this with the rest of my kids at some point this summer and will share it with you guys when I get around to it. Squirrel!

Jesus. All the distractions.

(This is Kelly's brain on ADD. I'd say ADHD but we all know I'm not hyperactive because at least then I could probably get more shit done.)

Anyway. The kids (and I say kids because I'm old now) manning the table for the foil art were college students. One a junior, the other in his first year of grad school. Both accounting majors. We got to talking about accounting, which ended up being like an awkward cautionary tale of shared life experience. My husband, a CPA, has worked in the field for over 20 years (gasp. again.) We relayed almost everything we've learned about the profession to the sponges on the other side of the table. They were grateful for the wisdom we'd so willingly shared, but I was left wondering exactly how and when we got so old that we're the people on this side of the table now.

I don't feel like I'm old enough to advise 20 somethings on anything, and yet there we were. Pushing 40. Telling it like it is.

Hard eyeroll.

Later in the week, a few panicked messages from my new job. Last minute subs were needed to fill in for some people.

I am literally the worst person in this situation, the least able to drop everything at a moment's notice. Because five kids.

I reluctantly said that I was unable to help out, after racking my brain of all the ways that I might be able. I really tried, too.

One by one, seemingly everyone else did too. I don't know if the spots were covered or not. I hope they were. I can't worry too much about that, I suppose, but the fact that I am worried about it tells me that I need to write this post.

Many of my cohorts are single.

Most of my cohorts are much younger than I am. Over a decade in most cases. They're practically kids. Get off my lawn.

Most of my cohorts don't have kids of their own, let alone enough for a basketball team.

They don't seem phased when they are unable to do something. They just say no and move on.

Why don't I?

Why can't I?

Why does this bother me?

Why was there a part of me wondering if we could swing coaching baseball too in the event that someone else didn't step up soon? Why was I even contemplating that on top of all the other things we already do? Why?

Why are the busiest people the ones who can't say no?

Maybe because they just don't say no?

What I'm saying is.....SAY NO.


Say no.

Say it and move on and don't worry about it. If you can't do something, you just can't do it.

My boundary maker is broken. I've been working on repairing it for years now, but I'm just hardwired to do all the things.

You know what though?

Saying no is pretty fucking fantastic. I'm getting better at it. I highly recommend it to all the over committed people out there.

Say it with me.




You can learn a lot from kids these days.

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