Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Which Crazy Says No

As you might have gathered if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, if I care about something, I regularly say "yes," even if saying "yes" is not the most advantageous thing that I can do in terms of protecting my time and productivity and well-being. For example, I recently said "yes" to serving on an internal search committee, even though it's the end of the semester and I'm fucking overwhelmed with personal life stuff. But the position is an important one, and I felt like it was important that I serve when my dean asked. (It's not just that he's a dean that inspired me here - it's that when this particular individual who happens to be my dean asks, I am strongly persuaded.) Anyhoodle.

Today, I said no. Not "I'll need some time to think it over," not "Well, who else will I be working with?" not "Exactly what will this service involve?" and not even, "Well, here's what else I'm doing and I'm not sure that I'll be as able to devote myself to this 100% and I believe this task should really get 100% from me." (Note: all of these responses often end up with me doing the thing I've been asked to do.) Nope. This time Upper Administrator Whom I Like and Respect Very Much asked, in a very flattering way (and flattery typically does get people everywhere with me, which is why it's so difficult to say no to the particular person who is my dean), but I immediately was all, "Um, totally no dice! I prefer not to! Indeed! The Magic 8-Ball says, unequivocally, a hundred times no! No ifs, ands, or buts! Not today, and not tomorrow and not a year from now! No, sir!"

Now, let's not pretend that if I hadn't said yes to that other search committee that I wouldn't have felt incredibly compelled to say yes to the thing that was asked of me. Having said "yes" to that other thing gave me a completely legitimate and easy way out of saying "yes" to this other thing. But, can I just say how AWESOME it was just to say no? It was AMAZING! It was FANTASTIC!

I have to say, for as much as I do say yes to the various things that are asked of me, I truly love it when I am certain that no is the right answer. I had a similar experience around this time last year, with the immediate and clear feeling that no was right, and I have had absolutely no regrets about that, and I know I won't regret saying no to this either. Also, I feel absolutely no guilt about it, nor do I worry that saying no will reflect badly on me. This, I suppose, is the good thing about saying yes as much as I do. When I say "no," well, everybody knows that it's with good reason and they don't think I suck because I did so. In fact, even the people who've asked me usually think better of me for saying no. Saying no motherfucking rocks. I love it with a love that is pure and true.

In other news, things with the House progress, but there is an FHA-loan-related snag (which is only a snag because it's a short-sale and I can't really go back to the seller to get this thing rectified - nothing with the appraisal (which is done) or with me as a borrower). I'm choosing not to freak out about this right now, especially because I'm supposed to close in less than two weeks, but it is... annoying. I just want everything to be in place - I don't want snags. So, I'm thinking positively for the moment, and hoping that all goes according to plan, but I'm also exercising caution in terms of real and true excitement.

In still other news. Very Good Journal, which wants to publish something of mine pending some minor revisions, except I haven't had time to do them and so I'm lame, has asked me to peer-review something for them. I feel like this is the perfect time to say, "Um, I know I suck for not getting my own article to you sooner, but it is coming, and sure I'll review this essay for you." With this all in the hopper, I think I've decided not to write the pedagogical essay for a special issue that I'd considered submitting. Something's got to give somewhere.

As for the upcoming conference paper, that's going to be just fine. Now I'm stressing re: the conference paper after that moreso, just because I know I've got to knock that out pretty quickly after conference paper #1.

I cannot wait until July, when in theory the house shit will be resolved (barring some sort of fuck you last-minute pull-out by me), the two conferences will be done, and I will be able to settle into the time of summer fellowship and sabbatical. I also cannot wait until the semester is really and truly put to bed.

So that's the latest.


rented life said...

Good luck with the house stuff. We hit a number of snags, and I totally understand the stress of that. Fingers crossed for you!

And yay for saying no!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Good for you! I find I'm saying "yes" more often now that I'm tenured, strangely enough. Weird, that. Perhaps I'll blog it myself, once I'm over my jetlag...

Susan said...

Learning to say "no" is an excellent skill. Sometimes I practice. Also knowing what your price is.

Good luck with the house. The amount of stuff that has to get done when buying a house is sometimes overwhelming, but it does end!

Ann said...

Congratulations! And yes, review the article for the journal. I'm sure they've got other revise-and-resubmits that are much older than yours, and if they thought you were a total idiot they wouldn't have asked you to review an article for them. (After all--someone agreed to review your article for them a while back, right? What goes around, comes around.)

Janice said...

I've found that "No" is a very useful word. Wished I'd used it at work more often and earlier in my career, though! Just keep up the practice because you are sure to say "Yes" often enough to keep more than busy.

Good luck with the house-buying craziness and with the article review. Hopefully all the karma balances out in your favour, in the end!