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Just Say No, a lot... a lot!

"Just Say No!" In a nationally broadcast message to the American people on September 14, 1986, then first lady Nancy Reagan joined then President Ronald Reagan to kick off her "Just Say No" campaign, an effort to raise drug abuse awareness. This blog post is the same, just changed...

As summer slips away from me, I feel the air a bit cooler and the days a little shorter, and the pool is closed, and my kiddo back to school, and I wonder, "What am I to do with myself now?" And here is what I have been doing: saying yes to EVERYTHING.

Here's how it goes:

Person in my life: "Hey Jamie, would you like to take on this project?"

Me: "OH YEAH, that sounds great!"

Person in my life: "Hey Jamie, can you teach another class this week?"

Me: "OH YEAH, that sounds great!"

Person in my life: "Hey Jamie, can you attend this meeting with me right after you see clients?"

Me: "OH, Yeah... that's just fine."

Person in my life: "Hey Jamie, can you create another event this month?"

Me: "Oh, yeah... sure."

Person in my life: "Hey Jamie, can you... blah blah blah blah blah?"

Me: "Uh huh, yep."

Until finally this: "Hey Mom, can we go see a movie this weekend?"

Me: "Ummmm, let me see if I can fit you in."

Ugh, and then the shame cycle ensues and I am lost.

This is my Fall of 2017 Saying Yes to Everything Abuse Awareness Campaign.

A colleague reminded me of that today when she sent a text back from an inquiry I sent her about a new project I had in mind: "Let me think about that one, I am worried I am committing to too much." I stared at her words and longed for them to have come from my own fingers. What I realized, as my back ached and my eyelids were heavy, I am not valuing my time the way I want to. Rather, as Brene Brown has so elegantly stated, I am participating in "The danger of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as a metric for self-worth." It hit me hard today, and at first I felt shame, and then realized, this awareness is my greatest gift. I get to choose the ways in which I value and hold space for everything and everyone in my life, INCLUDING ME.

Most importantly me.

The way I see time, is that it is a relative scale that measures the actual passing of events, both minuscule and enormous. If it is this construct, then it is mine to manage as I please.

We have all heard the phrase, "If you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others." True. I am taking care of myself, limitedly, perhaps. But what resonates even more for me is this twist to the age old adage: "If I, Jamie Lange, am not valuing my time and self, I cannot value the same in others."

Today, I vow, to Just Say No.