I’m back, my friends! Hafta tell ya that I was knocked flat by something resembling The Black Plague, but being sick gave me time to think about things. Mainly all of the many things that I do because I feel like I’m supposed to do them. Take this Thursday for example.
I worked hard to obtain a type of Medallion. It’s awesome. In my circle of friends, it’s the female’s equivalent to a Boy Scout’s Eagle rank. And this isn’t the first time that I earned it; it’s the second. The first time I was 17. This time I did it because I work with a group of girls and they’re working hard to achieve it, and I never ask anybody to do something that I won’t do myself. So rock on, yeah?
They’re having a little ceremony and they’re highlighting the stone-cold awesome women who have busted their butts to achieve this award. Unfortunately, this is the same night that Andrea Brown from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency is coming to speak to the Las Vegas Writers Group. What?! It gets even worse. Both meetings are on opposite parts of the city. At the same time.
I don’t care about being honored. I already earned the award and I’m very proud of it, but I felt that I should go because I already committed to it. It isn’t a big deal: I’m supposed to walk onstage, get a flower or something, and zip on down the other side. But to miss Ms. Brown while she speaks? Miss the chance to ask her questions? I have a novel that I’m querying for! Am I crazy?!
So while I was lying in my sick bed, I had an epiphany. It was this: In my life, why do I spend valuable time on people I’d much rather kick in the eye?
Okay, so that’s a lyric from The Smiths, but it still amounts to the same thing. Why do I feel that I must do everything, even when it hurts my personal goals? I’m a yes girl. I like to help. I volunteer. I like to carry my own weight, and then some.
But why? Who am I afraid of letting down?
I finally sucked it up and let the woman in charge know that I didn’t think I could attend the ceremony. I had something really important going on elsewhere at the same time. (And quite honestly, half of my problem was that this ceremony had been rescheduled twice. It didn’t originally conflict.)
Know what happened? This woman totally understood. In fact, she made a few phone calls and settled everything for me. Nobody minded. I had heaped this stress on myself FOR NO REASON. It’s a lesson that I took to heart. I’m letting the unnecessary things drop in order to do the things that matter most.
Also, I have some very, very good news about my son. That is the other reason I’ve been MIA lately. I can’t wait to tell you in a few days!
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