November 27, 2009

Taking time to say yes to me

I keep finding word arrangements about being busy that remind me we all have 24 hours a day to fill, that each of us can choose what to do with that time and when we say we are too busy to do something what we really mean is we choose not to do that something right now.

I have been rushing, gathering information for a research committee, gathering still more information for the required government forms that guarantee help for a trapped Alzheimer patient, gathering more words for so many projects that overwhelm me at year's end. Each is the right thing to do.

I have been teaching, uncomfortable with requirements imposed by others but bolstered by evaluations that illustrate the majority leave the workshops, the lessons, the classrooms with at least one actionable plan likely to impact the lives of at least three more.

Yet, surely even what is right can sometimes be too much. There is a need to step back, to reflect, to move on.

Perhaps it is watching the Yes Man movie with family, watching what happens when someone believes he can only say yes, watching how a constant stream of yeses becomes unbelievable.

Or perhaps it was listening to someone explain what this blog is to a class of eager journalists who wanted to learn a complex subject in 60 minutes or less.

Or perphas it was listening to me, explaining what I am doing, to one more person.

I listen to  "Ghost Riders in the Sky," but substitute ghost writer each time the phrase comes around in the Mary McCaslin version that fills the room where I am sorting through commitments, deciphering the thoughts of others for their blog posts.

There is much to tell about changes in Oregon, Alabama, New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, Michigan. There is much to say about the journalism experiments unfolding in Michigan and elsewhere. There is much to say about things I sometimes share here - the health insurance proposals, the debate over when to start/stop/do mammograms, and journalists without jobs finding alternatives.

Just not now - or at least just not now by me. The "gone fishing/gone farming" sign is hung on the virtual office door.