I’m exhausted, and my answer is no.

@a_mfelipe via Unsplash

Last week was hellish. I won’t enumerate all the reasons why, but they crossed personal, professional, pedagogical, and Peloton boundaries. Quite simply, I’m exhausted. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way; I know that it will pass and that I’m incredibly privileged to have the luxury of complaining about it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real and all-encompassing.

“Sustained exhaustion is not a rite of passage. It’s a mark of stupidity,” said Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp and the co-author of Rework. (I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s actually on a bookshelf in our house, and I plan to dive into it this week.) These words were something of a wake-up call, so I am endeavoring to avoid “sustained exhaustion.”

How? By saying no. Oh, this is so much easier said than done. I need to take my own advice and remember that I can do most of it — but I don’t have to do it all.

Recently, I’ve given notice to one organization that I will be wrapping up my service and have contemplated doing the same with another. I have declined 2 invitations to join new networks/groups. I am focusing my time on the people and pursuits that give me energy and satisfaction, and in turn, I can be more fully present and helpful to them. While I will likely be firing on all cylinders again in a week or 2, for now, I’m going to say no.

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