Setting limits is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and each other. It is an act of love. Setting limits means saying, no. No is a complete sentence. Try that on for size. “No.” But, I’m a woman and that means that sometimes I don’t say no when I should. I say “No, because____” I say, “Fine,” with an exasperated sigh. I say all the things women say when they want to say no, when they should say no and don’t.
I’m pretty good at saying no. Sometimes I say it just to say and because it makes my students laugh.
“Can we go to recess?”
“Can we sit on the rug?”
“Can we do math?”
“Can we do our homework?”
A few minutes of this and we all laugh and then we go to the rug and out to recess and they do math. Anything for a cheap laugh, it’s the secret to my success, that and a song for any occasion.
I don’t say no when I should some times because I’m tired, have had too much sugar, am lazy, or afraid. When I don’t use my no muscle nothing good happens. I get pissed off, usually at the wrong person and I take it out on someone, usually the wrong person. Before I know it I’ve lost my temper and am looking for a gunslinger, preferably one from Montana who’s toting a guitar.
My dad used to say, “A snake will bite, Deb.” It was his way of telling me not to expect people to be different than they are. I know that a drummer is going to be fun for a while then break my heart. I know that Joe is going to say something rude and piss me off and I know that Donna can’t be trusted to provide information that is reliable and consistent because she always has a personal agenda. I know that. I wasn't always a good girl but I loved my dad and I did listen to him. A snake will bite. I got bit this week. I lost my temper and hollered and yelled and cried until I felt better. That was then.
This is now. Now, I’m putting on a low cut, red dress, dangling earrings and going to a party. I’m going to drink too much, laugh too loud and flirt my ass off. After all there’s not a mad that a good dress and a little flirt won’t fix. My dad didn’t tell me that. I figured that out all by myself... with a little help from a drummer.
What can I say, it takes what it takes. This week it took me getting mad to remember that setting limits is an act of love and the best time to set a limit is before you need it. I'm outta here, don't wait up.