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This morning I started physical therapy for my back again. It’s the second round with the same therapist and as we were standing at the receptionist’s desk talking about booking my appointments, the therapist told her receptionist, “She’s very reliable”, meaning that I always show up and on time.
Sometimes that sounds so mundane. I feel like I should be wearing sensible shoes and be dressed conservatively with my hair back in a bun and reading glasses hanging from a chain around my neck. I know being reliable is a good thing, but when someone tells me that at 7 in the morning, it makes me want to run out the door screaming.
But, it’s true. I am reliable. This is a blessing and a curse. When people have a job that has to be done right and on time, they give it to me. With or without specific directions, I can always get things done. Because of this I’ve had to learn how to say the word NO.
I used to never say no and then I would end up being overwhelmed and resentful of all the work that was piled on me – especially outside of work. When I first learned that I could say no, it was a shock to me and to those to whom I said it, because it was so unlike me. Now I say it frequently and there’s a lot more time for me in my life.
Saying no has an added benefit that I hadn’t anticipated. It forces people to do things they never thought they could, or to find others they might not have thought of to do those things. It allows other people to shine and get credit. I really enjoy sharing in other people’s success – even if it is from way behind the scenes. It makes me feel good to see someone deserving be praised.
But for now, I have places to go, people to see and things to do. And it will all happen because I’m reliable.