At the moment I seem to be even more frantically busy than usual – but having said that, I seem to have been in this state for quite some time. I was bemoaning this to a friend over coffee the other day, and said ‘I really should learn to say no sometimes’. So – should I be like Zammo (1980’s Grange Hill reference there for those under 40) and ‘Just Say No?’
I then read an article in this month’s Red magazine (whilst having a soak in Epsom salts – it’s the thing to do, don’t you know? Well according to one of my sisters, and more recently Victoria Beckham – so I’m in!) and the Creative Director of Top Shop, Kate Phelan, was interviewed. When asked ‘best piece of career advice I’ve been given’ she replied ‘Seize every opportunity and make it count. Never say no. No task is insurmountable.’
And maybe that applies to life not just your career??
But is it genetic?? When my Dad retired he was quite happy to potter around at home, a gentle stroll to the paper shop, a chat with a passing neighbour, watch any sport or TV programme, a snooze in the chair, a quick whizz through the list Mum had left him before she went to work – and he was quite happy! When Mum retired it was another matter! She learnt to swim, to speak German (the aforementioned sister lives in Germany, so a useful thing to do), she invigilated GCSE exams at the local school, volunteered with a debt advice charity – as well as looking after her Mum who lives nearby, daily walks with a friend (when neither of them were on holiday) and helping out with grandchildren / friends etc. Maybe I’m just more my Mum than my Dad? (Apart from the eczema, hayfever, allergies, weird scratching of the back of my throat and slightly odd way of walking in bare feet which are TOTES my Dad!)
If I had said ‘no’ then I wouldn’t have helped some awe inspiring friends raise loads of money for charity and break a world record.
If I had said ‘no’ then I wouldn’t be helping to organise an AMAZING ball to be held in September (I am sure I will be blogging about that soon!!).
If I had said ‘no’ then I wouldn’t have had a sneak preview behind the scenes at the new Grand Central Birmingham earlier in the week.
If I had said ‘no’ or been a bit lethargic, perhaps we wouldn’t have ticked off 78 of the owls in The Big Hoot 2015. (Although I suspect my children would maybe have preferred if I hadn’t been quite so obsessive about the owls…………)
But if I had said no to these things – what would I have done? Watched soap operas or reality TV? Gone to the pub? Surely these life enhancing, weird and wonderful things add to life? I read one of those spoof motivational posters on Facebook today that said ‘You will never remember the days you went to bed early.’ – and that is very true! My Fitbit will attest that I should probably get more sleep than I do – but Margaret Thatcher survived on 4 hours sleep per night, so I am clearly channeling my inner iron lady.
As long as my family and friends don’t feel they are being neglected (and I don’t think they do?!), and my work is getting done (albeit at 11pm some nights – the joy of being the boss!) then I think saying ‘yes’ has to be the way forward.
So let’s see what saying ‘yes’ ** for the next few months will bring…………..
** Note: Just to confirm, having quote Zammo above, I will not be saying yes to any illegal substances – just life experiences!!