Monday, February 26, 2018

Examining the Year of No

I am on vacation this week and, in the spirit of my "year of no," I made sure to keep plenty of open space in my week. There are a number of writing projects I'd like to work on and, when I have time off from school, I flip the switch, so to speak, to make writing my first priority. I have a few household projects in mind as well, and before I even started a written list, it was clear that my list was longer than the time I have available.

Nothing new there.

So, I opted to do something I have difficulty doing: I protected my time. Monday and Friday? Nothing on the schedule. To be honest, this was to offset not one, but two necessary appointments on  Wednesday afternoon (physical and haircut). Thursday morning, I meet with my writing partner, leaving Thursday afternoon free. Tomorrow morning, I opted for pampering over a blank schedule, and I'm going for a massage.

That left me all day Monday, Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning (except for the charity pick-up I set up, but they'll come to me), Thursday afternoon and all day the weekend. I have a few things to grade, but that schedule seemed to leave plenty of time for writing, with some extra goofing off time available and a chance to spend some time with my dad.

Then, Saturday night, our dryer went on strike. I dutifully called the dryer repairman, who could come Tuesday afternoon. I was elated! Visions of lugging wet towels to the laudromat vanished, along with a chunk of my Tuesday. No problem, I reassured myself. That'll keep you in the house, where you can get things done.

Next, I opened an email from a friend who was going to be in town this week. Was I free Thursday afternoon?

Yes! I am! Can't wait to see you! (And now I have to make sure my proposal is due before we meet!)

You see where this is going?

Overall, I'm doing well in my year of no. The problem (if I can even call it that) arises when I don't want to say no. I want my dryer fixed. I want to see my friend.

But I also want to write and read and put my house in order. Literally. And, oh, there are those papers to grade....

The thing is, my year of no is turning out just as I hoped it would, albeit with a few complications. The purpose of saying no was not to become a hermit, a couch potato or even a writer who created until she dropped. The purpose of saying no was to free up time for the things that matter.

And so far, with few exceptions, it's working out just fine.

Geralt via Pixabay

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