When someone asks me to do something, there’s always a pause, a moment where I riffle through the baggy filofax of my mind, looking for the many reasons I can’t. But in the pressure of the moment, the pages I’m looking for aren’t there, and somehow I find myself saying yes. Then, when it sinks in that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew yet again, I toss that mental filofax across the room in a fit of despair, howling ‘how will I fit it all in?’
Resigned, I add the new task to my list, for it to then be ignored in turn when the next request comes up. And so it goes. I tell myself I’ll shake it up and start saying no more often, but how can I, when by turning something down I might be missing out on something?
Some of that hard work paid off last week, after all, with the launch of the latest Edinburgh Review, which we held at the lovely new Looking Glass Books, and it was great fun. The readers were fab and there was some good chat in the pub afterwards.
Do you say yes when really you mean ‘No, I’m too busy, go away and leave me alone. Unless you have cake.’?