I have difficulty saying no. When I started writing this I was getting organized for my state guild retreat (Missouri). (That's me dressed up for the Missouri Waltz dinner along with others partaking in the fun!) Well, the weekend has come and gone. It was a great retreat! We hold this retreat once a year in the beautiful Missouri ozarks and it is a fun weekend with workshops and a guest speaker/teacher. Billie Lauder was our guest this year and everyone thoroughly enjoyed her program and workshops. One of my good friends last year was the chairperson and asked me if I would be the co-chair, thus becoming the chair this year. At the time, I thought it would be a good idea and a way to get involved in the state guild. Right now, I am cursing myself for not saying no, because I have way too much to do to with my commissioned work for the fabric companies that are getting ready for Quilt Market. I never seem to learn my lesson, but I do believe that things happen for a reason.
When I was younger I was a shy child, not very outgoing. I never enjoyed talking in front of a large group. I became a special education teacher and I didn't have any problems talking to students, they wouldn't judge me, but talking to a group of adults made my stomach queezy. I went back to school and got my degree in Educational Psychology and now I had to speak to groups of adults. Actually going back to school as an adult (in my 40s) was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I was no longer afraid to ask questions in class and would have other students come up to me after class and thank me for asking the question. I began living the pholosophy that there is no such thing as a "dumb" question (and I always tell my quilting students that). I also learned that if you are good at something and you are knowledgeable about your specialty area, that people listen and respect your opinion. Working in educational psychology I realize that everyone is good at something. It was my job as an educator to help kids realize their potential. Now I feel it is my job to help adults realize their potential as a quilter.
The next best thing that happened to me was learning to quilt in 1985. It was something that gave me confidence, so much confidence that I started lecturing to guilds. Now I had to speak in front of very large groups! It was hard for me at first. However, it seems that when I started talking about quilting, I didn't feel shy anymore and people actually enjoyed listening to me! I had a woman come up to me recently after speaking to a guild for the second time. Their guild was one of the first ones that I lectured to when I first started about 10 years ago. She told me that I had really "blossomed". That the first time I spoke I was so meek and shy and that I had come out of my shell and was more confident.
So what does this have to do with me not being able to say no? As I get older I am beginning to realize that I don't know how to relax. My husband is great at that. I have to be constantly busy doing something. Whether it is quilting, working on the computer or playing a game (on the computer). I can't seem to just sit and do nothing. I have trouble watching T.V. with my husband, not only because he is a constant channel changer, but because I find it boring. Even when I am sitting watching T.V. I am thinking of quilting; what I should be doing or what new ideas I can come up with. So when a company says that they want me to design a quilt, I can't say no. I guess I feel if I start saying no, I won't get another chance or they won't ask me again. So the pressure I feel is self-inflicted! Maybe some day I will learn to relax!