I don’t have any.
I do have some very achy muscles, a very burned out brain, and a growling tummy.
Mysterious set of symptoms, eh?
Not really, when you consider I’ve been wearing this five pound monster boot on my left foot for the past 12 hours, typing my way through 892 pages of medical records, and going straight from work to a rehearsal where I had to stand on my one good leg and ring handbells for an hour, thereby missing dinner.
So who’s the wise one here? Certainly not Becca.
Because Becca, who (on a very good day) calls herself a writer, has one absolutely vital word missing from her vocabulary.
Oh, come on, you all know what it is.
Go ahead – say it for me.
Sorry, I can’t possibly finish this record review today.
Sorry, I can’t substitute for you in bell choir tonight.
Sorrry, I can’t.
Alas, I’ve covered this ground before here at the Byline, and I apologize for my redundancy. I allow myself to do far too much, to my physical and emotional detriment, because I never learned to say NO.
Of course, when I was a little girl growing up, I wasn’t allowed to say NO. Like every other two year old on the planet, it was my favorite word. NO, I won’t take my medicine. NO, I won’t go to bed. NO, I won’t come in. NO, I won’t eat those creamed peas. Yet society tells us we much squelch that tendency in our toddlers – don’t let them get away with saying NO to everything – they must learn to capitulate, to bend their will to yours, to please you at any cost.
Perpetually the good student, I learned the lesson all too well.
So here I am, 50 years post terrible twos, and I can’t seem to say NO to anyone.
Oh, I’m really good at that.
NO, I can’t leave the housework undone and put my foot up for the evening.
NO, I can’t spend all afternoon reading a book.
NO, I can’t let my husband do the grocery shopping for me.
NO, I can’t ask my co-worker to take on some extra assignments.
Yes ~ I bet you do that too.
So here I am, achy, tired, and hungry – all for the lack of a two letter word.
Maybe tomorrow will be different. Maybe tomorrow I’ll sleep late, or just lie around the house in my pajamas all morning. Maybe I’ll go out for breakfast instead of going to work. Maybe I’ll order a big, gooey cinnamon roll.
Maybe I’ll say YES to myself tomorrow.
What a wise word that would be.