Stop me!

stop-me_smallIt is like a disease, this over-volunteering. For years I have taken on just one more thing than I am realistically capable of doing. For a while Gary would have me practice the sentence, “I am sorry, I can’t”.

I have to say that I have gotten better at saying no. I feel that if you don’t volunteer in the full spirit of the act, if you begin resenting it, then what is the point. I have retained the few things that are close to my heart. And of course the one shot volunteer activities are still attractive to me.

A friend who owns a shop in town gave me this great little pad. I carry it around and when I am asked to do something I really can’t do I can hold it up and get a laugh.

Any over-volunteers out there need one of these?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog where Jana joins in the election bloglove.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under humor

9 responses to “Stop me!

  1. Gail

    Years ago, when my yoga business was taking off, and I was supposed to be PTA president, and I had to back down, I found this quote, which I keep by my desk.”YOU have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.” – Stephen Covey

  2. While I’m still a board member for a local org that I support, I took a minimal role this year. At school, I have cut back to 1 field trip/day activity per year per child and 1 committee. One. I’m co-chair for the 5th grade (elem graduating class) slide show. For me, that’s a huge reduction and a reduction that I definitely needed. I was drowning in volunteer work and it was making my work and family life miserable. I can’t believe how hard it is for me to say no to these things. But I’m getting better.

  3. The best lesson I ever taught myself was how to say NO and not feel guilty. Now when asked, most of the time I say NO (nicely, of course) and people are taken aback. Sometimes they even continue as if I have said YES! I have a busy, complex life and watering down my time serves no one well. I learned that the hard way. Volunteering begins with offering myself to me and my kids first and foremost, and sometimes, only. But I know a lot of over-volunteers, and many times they’re miserable with it.

  4. My problem is I like to be busy. But then I take on too much. So I’m there with you!

  5. Me, me, me!!!! I need one of those pads (too cute, BTW). I’m totally overextended. Here’s my sob story.

  6. laurie

    2 thoughts…when asked to take on a “volunteer” project or task, I ask myself if I am being approached because I am the best person for that job (think expertise or skills), or if they just need someone. if it is the latter, and I know the group or organization will find someone, I say no.

    Returning to work after many years at home, has helped me to prioritize…but I have to say that the “high” that you get when you volunteer and have made a difference is a feeling that I am not ready to give up. thankfully, my example of giving back has been passed on to my girls.

    amy, you are a wizard with fact finding…how about some research about the “high” I mentioned. I think someone actually did a study.

    sorry I can’t help today. It is spa day in Sacketts Harbor. 🙂

  7. Can you please send me a dozen of these cool tools? To say I need them is an understatement. Yes, I’m PTA President, and yes, I’ve been the President before.

    And the Steven Covey quote is major: I’ve had it on my wall before. Apparently I need it tattooed on my forehead as well.

  8. My boss needs one! She volunteers for us–so much fun!

  9. Pingback: They won’t call me a prick anymore! « i could cry but i don’t have time

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