Learning to say no


Toddlers can do it with ease. In fact it is often times the first word they utter repeatedly. 

Would you like to eat, No. 
Want to sleep - no. 
Got to bed, no. 
Be quiet. NO!

There are a multitude of words in the English language but perhaps few are quite as brutal as this. And yet after a sufficient amount of my existence, I often find it hard to stand my ground. To say no and be okay with it.

It isn't easy to be a stay at home mom. Often times I wonder who conjured up the title. Besides running a home which usually includes the cooking, cleaning and running of errands, I also try to earn a living. Be that as it may I often find it hard to describe what I do to total strangers.   


One is regularly bombarded with requests to edit resumes, answer the door bell, fix someone's broken class project, baby sit the neigbours pet hamster for a few days, fix someone's mobile phone... you get the drift. 

The house help often think it is easy to cancel at the last hour because, 'Madam doesn't have duty and can adjust.' Of course they think that I'm mindlessly playing computer games as they potter about the house. When I'm transcribing interviews and working on meeting deadlines, it is at those times, that the last thing I want to look at, has a screen attached to it.    

Through it all, I trod on with passion. More often than not I huff and puff and mutter under my breath. I've even tried meditation. Thankfully my family never takes me for granted and I know that every paycheck is earned with as much sweat and toil as the next man and woman on the street.  

Food, travel and beauty reviewing has its perks. It also has its perils. Traffic is often unpredictable which is why most people cannot always get there on time, let alone in one piece. Events get cancelled. Double booked too. Bloggers and so called influencers show up with more attitude than you can ever squeeze in to a bar of toothpaste. Most of the time, I question the validity of an event before ever stepping foot out of my building. Will I be able to expand my network? Will it cost too much? Will I learn anything new?    

Like any other human being I am tempted to give up. When impolite, hi-profile acquaintances look down on what I do. When they can't wait to discuss my work at parties and family weddings, it does hurt. 
Its almost as if I have to take on the onus of the media at large. Become the scapegoat of all the inane jokes about celebrities and their outdated love lives. Here's one bit of new information - that is so not what I do.  
And yet down the line, my inbox will be flooded with requests to find jobs for so and so. This post on Labor Day is just a reminder to myself to not feel guilty to turn down requests for my time. 

Here's a newsflash for all those event planners, I don't mind missing a few big openings or nights out with celebs. Chances are I will help the next person who requests for a step in the right direction. 
We all work for a living. Lets not take each other for granted.  





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