I have a very bad habit. And that’s cancelling plans. I usually have some valid reasons, but sometimes I just don’t. My decision to cancel sometimes depends on how I feel that day. Once I’m not in a good mood, I would just cancel. It may seem like a selfish move but it really is not. It’s more like an equation in my head: “If I’m not in a good mood, I will draw so much negative energy therefore I will ruin it all for everyone.” So instead of going and being a party popper, I stay home and try to re-mediate myself.
Then there are the times when I do have reasons to cancel. Like I mentioned many times in several of my posts here, I engage in a lot of activities in my church or for my church. Some of them I don’t recall ever affirming that I wanted to be part of, but somehow I’m all up in them. So what happens now is that, everyone__from my pastor to all the presidents of the different departments of the church__ counts on me. Why, you ask? In the words of my blunt boyfriend “Because you don’t know how to say no!”. Not that this is entirely true, but sometimes, I just can’t bear to say no when it comes to doing something for the people at my church. My mother raised me to always be of service for the church anytime that I can. And I’ve always kept that with me. Now it’s making and breaking me at the same time.
There have been times when I had to cancel girls’ outings, birthday parties, bridal/baby showers just because I had to be at practice or because I had to wake up early for Sunday service the next day. I have broken a lot of my friends’ heart by doing that, and now some either don’t invite me anymore or are skeptical when I RSVP. I hate the fact that, even when I use the proper etiquette of bailing, it still hurts the other person. I then get mad at myself for not handling the situation the right way, especially after I gave my word to be there.
Well, last week was different. I didn’t wake up with a certain state of mind to be bold in the decision I made, but it sure gave me the balls to stand up for myself. One of my girlfriends came in town to celebrate her birthday: 4-day weekend type of celebration that is. And I knew about her coming since July. And of course, like all the other times, I told her I would be there.
“Are you sure?” I remembered her asking. She sounded unconvinced.
“I promise, I’ll be there.”
Knowing me with my cancelling habit, she was super excited and took (rather, held onto) my word for it. So the plan was for us to meet Thursday night for dinner. I was excited, that, for once out of the many times I’ve cancelled on friends and family, I was finally keeping my word. Only to realize that it wasn’t going to be for long.
Last Sunday was Young Adult day at the church. This is when all the young adults of the church do everything in the services: from ushering to directing and preaching. So guess who was picked to direct THAT Sunday out of every single suitable young person? You guessed right. Me. Now I had a dilemma. If I was to direct, I would need to attend praise team rehearsal which would be that same Thursday of my friend’s birthday dinner. And that night would be the only night she would be in NY, the only night I would be able to see her since she made plans to be in Massachusetts the rest of the week-end. I can’t begin to explain the crowd of thoughts that kept racing through my mind. I wanted to tell my pastor that I wouldn’t be able to direct, if it meant for me to be present at rehearsal. But I didn’t want to let him down. So I said nothing, and concluded that the best thing would be for me to cancel…on my friend.
Too ashamed to call, I sent her a Facebook message, first asking her when she would be leaving NY, because I ‘probably’ wouldn’t be able to make it on Thursday because of rehearsal.
“You always have something going on. I’m disappointed. I’m not going to hide it. But it’s ok. I understand.” was her reply. My fingers itched to type back “No! you don’t understand! And that wasn’t my question!” but I had to face the truth. And whenever I face the truth, I’d throw a fit then finally, I’d give in. I explained the whole dilemma to my older sister, hoping to get her to sympathize with me, but instead she told me: “So you have so much responsibilities…whose fault is it? There are other people in the church who are well-able to do all that you do. You just make yourself too available. That’s your problem. Be unavailable for once.”
So I picked up my cell and called the praise team director. I told him I would not be able to come to rehearsal and sent him a list of what needed to be done. He tried talking me out of it, telling me that I needed to be there and such, but I resisted. I knew I needed to be there, but God knows that I’ve always been there, rain or shine, sleet or snow. For once, I had to decline.
So I went to the dinner. My friend was so happy to see me. She hugged me for what seemed to be a very long second and whispered: “Thank you…”. I hugged her back and smiled. That made the rest of my weekend :-).
Then Sunday came, I directed. And the service went marvelously :-).
I’m glad I’m slowly breaking this bad habit.
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