I am, by nature and by choice, an optimist.  A pragmatic optimist it’s true, but still someone likely to see the silver lining in the clouds.

I like to be busy and I tend to get things done. So I get asked to do a fair bit. A couple of good friends remind me to say No sometimes so I heed them as often as I can. (Wow was I good on Friday – I was throwing No’s out the way I usually toss please and thank you around!)
I suspect I frustrate them when I don’t say no. In that protective “why do you do this to yourself”  kind of way that people feel about choices others make they see going wrong – when a solution seems so simple.

I have a confession though, something that I really don’t share publicly or with any one individual. I spread the load occasionally but never on an animal by animal basis. This was hammered home yesterday when I realized my Mum -who is certainly in the top three about knowing what animals are in and out of the house – hadn’t even heard of a broken little kitten Big T did amazing therapy work  with until she was adopted last week.

I say no many many times a week. Year round, 52 weeks a year since 1994 I’ve been saying no more often then I want to – once a week year round and up to 25 or more times a week at this time of year.

I have walked through many shelters making choices about who I can help through a network of foster contacts, my own fostering and a network of rescues. The flip side of that is saying no to many many faces. I get phone calls on a weekly basis and emails on a daily basis asking for help. Again I say yes sometimes and no much more often. People swing by my office at work hoping I can place an animal in need. Same dilemma.

Just say no is a lovely motto. Take care of yourself first is another good one. I appreciate the reminders to do both of these things – and I need the reminders (being an optimist and all) but the reality is if I’m not a little bit stretched I’m likely feeling pretty awful as animals somewhere paid for my No.

I really hate myself when I slap people in the face with my reality. But I suspect Sir Winston Churchill will bring out a sleep deprived whine or two from me that may leave you wondering why  I didn’t just say no.

just a few photos of a few of the reasons No is not easy