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Got Stress?

To say that I’m really stressed right now is an understatement. And I think stress is making me sick. And, really, it’s my own fault.

Why?

I can’t say no. It’s like my lips won’t form the letters. I try. But it comes out as ” okay, I’ll think about it” which quickly esculates into “Sure, I’ll do it. No problem.”

Except it is a problem and what sounded like no big deal weeks or months ago, has arrived on my doorstep all at the same time. Okay, I know I’m whining and you’re thinking “grow a pair, kiddo” but this blog is a blank slate calling me to let it all out. So I am. I’m overwhelmed, overbooked, and overburdened. And it’s so bad that this morning as I actually sat and listened to my brood slurp their cereal, I wondered how I could break my leg because surely if I broke my leg, I wouldn’t have to do anything. No laundry, no driving, no being the Field Day chairperson. No taking the dogs to the vet, or backwashing the pool, or working out. Notice I didn’t want a broken arm. Jeez, I have to write. But the leg, outside of the pain, would work.

Crazy, aren’t I?

Yeah, I know. I could forego all this thinking about how I could break my leg if I just could say no. So why do I do it? Why do I say, “Sure let’s do Mother’s Day at my house” or “Yes, I’ll be glad to attend the program” or “Give me a call when you get there and I’ll meet you to go over it.” ???? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a deep-seeded desire to be needed? Or liked? Or to want to actually go crazy and run in front of a car in front of Target so that I can break my leg?

So, I can’t spend much more time complaining about how utterly stupid I am. Because, you know, I’ve got a list a mile long. So I’m off. But I will check back. So tell me, how do you say “NO!” or are you like me and so full of “Sure, I’ll do it” that your back is up against the same wall mine is?

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7 Responses

  1. I understand your problem. Really I do. I have a tendency to say “Sure” too many times. The other day, I had to tell someone that I couldn’t read/critique for her for a while. Not sure if/when I’ll be able to again. Between my RWA commitments and trying to finish a book, while maintaining some type of personal life, I found myself overstressed. It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done.

    Grab a piece of paper. Write down all the possible ways to say, “I’m sorry but no.” “I’m sorry but I’m swamped.” I’m sorry but I just don’t have the time right now” , etc. Keep this list at your elbow. When needed, pull out and read it/copy it to the appropriate person.

    Good luck.

    I’ve ordered your book!

  2. I am the same way, it’s hard for me to say no. I am usually the one that is responsible for taking care of everything around the house – even if it’s something that hubs needs to do.

    I try to do what I can to help everybody and then I am the one that is exhausted.

    I am getting better at saying no but I have a long way to go.

  3. I probably veer too far in the other direction. I tend to be very protective of my time. I’ve also learned the hard way that it’s better to say no than to overextend myself and do the job poorly.

    I especially try to be careful of agreeing to critique or read pages, because there’s nothing worse than sending something off to a reader and having to wait and stew for days and days before getting an answer. I always imagine they’re sitting there thinking, “OMG, this is so bad, I don’t even know what to say.”

    But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

  4. Oh, BTW Liz, you’re not the only one who dreams of getting a ‘break’. Last week I thought I was coming down with the kid’s cold, and all I could think was “Wow, if I get sick I would have an excuse to spend a whole day doing NOTHING.”

  5. Oh, Liz! Stress is a mean and nasty word. LOL Today was the day to end all days for me. I’ve been running all day, taking kids their homework so they don’t flunk the class, picture money that should have already been paid for, tennis shirt so she can play in the tournament today, doctor’s office to have ingrown toe nail removed (the worst nightmare a mother can ever watch her child go through. Avoid this like the plague!) And on top of all this last minute stuff there was still the “sure I can do that” stuff. If breaking something didn’t hurt so bad, I’d seriously consider it myself! 🙂

    A friend of mine will only agree to do part of a project and I’m amazed at how many times this gets her out of doing any part of it all. People seem to have the attitude “All or nothing”. I think I’m going to try it! Then, I technically won’t have to say the bad “no” word.

    Sorry for the long response! You hit a nerve today!! LOL

  6. Oh yes, oh yes. I’ve been battling uphill because I put myself in a real mess: I pitched a book that isn’t finished. Bad girl. Irresponsible girl. So far the agent only wants to see two chapters and a synopsis, but I’ve got to finish the thing asap just in case when she gets the two chapters she wants to see more.

    So here I am, trying to fit in serious head-down writing with everything else, because after all it’s my own fault for getting in this spot! But I tell you if I could just creep out one day with the house a mess, grocery shopping not accomplished, dinner still a big fat question mark, the cats moaning for food — well, I can’t promise I wouldn’t do it.

    Isn’t adult life fun? Why did we ever want to grow up?

  7. Thanks, gals, for making me feel better. I took a chill pill last night and decided I would just do the best I could do. There is light at the end of the tunnel…or as I call it – May.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one. I’m not really sure why because that means we’re all just stressed out. Except Kari Lynn. Maybe she needs more to do so she doesn’t run off roads and stuff.

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