Before you think I’m going to go in a completely different direction here, let me just say it:
What? It’s a hard freaking word to say.
I was having a conversation with the king of decent-enough-excuses last night and after asking an imposing question he said “uhmm… I can’t think of an excuse that doesn’t make me sound like an idiot…” So I pushed. Then say no, and don’t give me an excuse at all. ”No.” Was that so hard? ”Yeah… it made me feel weird inside.” And using an excuse wouldn’t have? ”Funny how that works, hey?”
I’ve been on this really strange language binge lately where I try saying things that get to the root of my feeling as opposed to pushing them down and frosting over them. Instead of giving an excuse, I just give my answer. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” (my go-to excuse) I say “It’s not a priority” and, as you can imagine, this doesn’t sit so well with people or with myself.
It’s been my excuse for years. I don’t have time to see you is me saying you aren’t a priority. I don’t have time to go for a run is me saying getting my ass in shape is not a priority. I don’t have time to write this morning is me saying writing isn’t a priority of mine right now.
As soon as I told myself that writing wasn’t a priority, I sat my ass down and made it a priority. Because that’s what it is. The same goes for working out. As soon as I told myself my body wasn’t a priority, I made that time. Because this is the only body I get and you can be damn sure that keeping it in tip-top shape is a priority of mine. As far as people go, if I have to bust out the “I don’t have time for you” excuse… well… that about says it all. You aren’t a priority. Sorry.
And that’s where it gets easy to be mean. People do not seem to take kindly to you telling them they do not hold priority status (or that their cause, favour, problems or whatever else don’t.) Which is why it feels better to give an excuse as a way to diffuse the situation. But excuses are bull shit, and I think it’s kinder to just tell the truth.
No. No. No. No, no, No, no, No, no, NO.
Do we have obligations? Yes. But I’m not calling them obligations any longer. I’m calling them choices that I have made. Did I promise to be a part of something that is taking up my Sundays for another two months? Yes. It’s not an obligation, it’s a choice I made that I’m now doing the best I can with. Will I do it again? That’s a choice I can make at a later date.
I am beginning to feel like we complicate things solely based on how we talk about them, and if this is a quick fix, I’ll take it. Maybe I’ll find spit on my next burger. Or, maybe I’ll start to see some progress in the areas of my life that I have come to realize are the important ones.
What excuses do you make on a regular basis? What’s the worst that would happen if you stopped giving them? I bet you’d have more time for the things you’ve wanted all along.
xo & yw