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I’m sorry – a blanket apology

For many months I’ve felt a niggling sense of frustration, and it’s taken me this long to really come to the point where I can simply say “I stuffed up”. I say it quite honestly, with feeling, because I did stuff up. I have lost track of how many people I have let down, and so I just wanted to take a moment to apologise.

I take too many things on-board. I have a hard time saying no. I genuinely want to do everything I say yes to, but the reality is that things have been slipping through the cracks. Chunks of time get lost. Whole items on my mental to-do list disappear. If you’ve asked me to do something, read something, crit something, comment on something, write a review, and I never got back to you – I’m sorry. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s because life has crushed me this last year and I just couldn’t. I can’t keep on top of everything.

Some of you will remember that at the beginning of last year I stepped aside from a number of responsibilities – I became a regular member of Kiwi Writers instead of staff, I quit my proof reading job, I even stopped training to become a Lifeline Counsellor – because I simply could not keep up. Later in 2012 I declined a nomination for Secretary of SpecFicNZ as I’d held the position for a while but felt someone else could do a better job of it.

Yet here I am again, a whole year on, and I’m still feeling overwhelmed.

I’m really hopeful that THIS year I will be able to get on top of things. I have to get better at saying no. I have to find a way to carve out (and maintain) some solid blocks of time for myself (because, you know, I have value too. I’m finally getting to the point where I can say I’m also important). But it’s just so hard to say no! You all have such interesting books and stories and I want to see what you’re up to. I want to read that thing you had published. I want to write a review and tell people how great it is. There just isn’t enough time for everything though, and I have to make my own words a priority. I know well and truly that while it *seems* easier to work on everyone else’s novels, the thing that really feeds me is to work on mine.

Even if it’s harder, and makes me want to scream more often.

So, I am sorry. Sorry I didn’t email you back. Sorry I didn’t crit that thing in time. Sorry if when I did send comments they weren’t really what you were looking for, didn’t have enough information, entirely missed the point. I’m sorry if I stopped commenting so much on your blog. I’m sorry if I read your book, told you I’d review it and then it took me months to get around to following through. None of it was intentional.

Going forward, I am going to try to stop and think more carefully before I say yes. I’m going to figure out if I can genuinely find the time for it, and then I am going to base my decision on that. If I say no, it’s not because I don’t value you – I do. It’s simply because I genuinely just can’t commit and I don’t want to let you down.

I hate letting people down, it makes me feel icky inside. I don’t like feeling icky.

Right, feels good to get that off my chest. I hope you’ll forgive me.

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15 thoughts on “I’m sorry – a blanket apology”

  1. Eek – don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re a MORE than full-time Mum to three girls – how you make time for anything else is beyond me, yet you do. So if you miss some stuff, I doubt it’s very important at all.

    1. Well, in the grand scheme it may not be, but I’ve been feeling guilty and bad about being slack – hence the apology. Thanks for your kind words šŸ™‚ I am working at cutting myself some more slack, and not being so hard on myself. Wish there was a switch for that!

  2. Cassie, thank you for sharing this heartfelt apology. While I’m here, I might as well admit my actions have in many ways paralleled yours. I could have easily written this post with few changes to the details.

    1. Hey Rich šŸ™‚ Nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles! I hope this year is a good one for you and you find your way to balance.

  3. Hey,
    You’ve gotta live your life before you can live for others!
    (Although strictly speaking, as a Mum of 4, it doesn’t always work out that way.)
    Cheers and good luck.

    1. Hi Eileen, thanks for stopping by and commenting šŸ™‚ Nice to meet another mother of many – hats of to you! I think 3 is hard work, and can imagine that 4 is a tad more consuming.

  4. It’s the hardest thing in the world to say no sometimes. I learned that lesson the hard way too – and it’s especially hard when you’re a parent because there are so many other obligations that come into play. You do deserve space – and I hope you can carve out some peace for yourself and really enjoy your reading and writing – sans the weight of obligation.

    1. Thanks Raewyn šŸ™‚ I used to have Wed nights off (drop the kids to work when Hubby finished and leave them to it), and think we’re reinstating this – will give me time for writing and study I think/hope. Have you found a good balance?

  5. Cassie,

    This is going to sound odd, but have you considered that some of the feelings you are having are due to depression?

    Suffering from chronic depression myself, I see a lot of my thought processes in this post when I am simply overwhelmed and get fed up with myself.

    1. Cheryl, it doesn’t sound odd at all! I have been asking myself the same question off and on for awhile now. I do have hormonal depression (PMDD) though I am trying hard to stay on top of that, for most of the month I am perfectly happy. I have had really bad experiences with anti-depressants in the past so am not willing to give those a go, especially as its for less than half a month.
      It has been a really hard year, and everyone in my family is suffering. The constant explosions, the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse, the manipulation, the lying, the hitting, the breaking of stuff. It’s exhausting. I think having a kid who is struggling this much can tear a family apart, so I’m really blessed that my marriage is still strong, and we’re all coping as well as we can. Things are getting better, slowly, but I think it takes longer to convince the subconscious that it’s all going to work out okay. We will get there šŸ™‚
      Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it.

      1. Ah. Perhaps you might revisit them as they have improved. Sometimes balancing the chemicals in your system is the only way to deal with it.

  6. *hugs* Totally know where you’re coming from, and I only have one kid!
    Proud of you for accepting where you’re at, and accepting your ‘failures’ so publicly is so brave. You really inspire me Cassie!

  7. Hey,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. We’re all guilty at times of signing up for things in a burst of enthusiasm and ending up taking on too much and not being able to follow through. I always seem to think I’m superwoman and can do 56,000 things at once, but, NO. Not realistic. So I’ve just spent the past week or so going through & looking at my commitments over the next few months and trying to be logical about it. There’s barely enough time for me to do the things I need to do, let alone those that I want to do – and I don’t have kids, or half of the other stresses that I know you and your family have been through in recent times.

    So give yourself a break. We understand. And, as always, if you need a friend, here I am šŸ™‚ *hugs*

    1. Thanks Jhakka šŸ™‚ I know many people over commit. I think in part for me it’s a way to avoid thinking about the realities of my day to day lol, time for me to be more realistic and less crazily optimistic! Me coming clean was a good way to start cutting myself some more slack. Free up my brain of the weight of knowing I’m letting people down.

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