Looking for Debbie's books
and her work with teens?
Click here

deferMy jury summons appeared in the mail last week, asking me to report for duty on Monday, November 5th. I looked at my calendar and saw that the following day, November 6th, is the last session for my book proposal class.

Logically, I knew I could try and put off my serving until a better time, but this really big part of me (a.k.a. my lizard brain) felt like I had to suck it up and do it, keeping my fingers crossed that I got released on the first day so I could keep my class appointment.

It wasn’t until I explained my stress over the whole situation to my Hub and he looked at me, confused, and said, “Why don’t you just defer? You can’t do it that week!” that I realized what I was doing by telling myself I had to keep my blind date with the county courts.

That part of me, the one who was feeling a bit trapped? She’s the one who multitasks without thinking twice…the one who’s used to just plowing through (or over) obstacles…the one who piles it on because sometimes it seems easier than figuring out an alternative.

So, this morning, I went online and filled out the defer request. With the click of the send button, I was off the hook, my class unthreatened and my stress level a notch lower. It was that simple. Simple, yet apparently for me, so difficult.


Somewhere along the way, I got confused about the definition of defer. Instead of going with the true meaning: “Putting off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone,” I was using the less popular (a.k.a. self-imposed) definition of “Unable to get it all done due to inadequacy; slacker; lame-o.”

I was making my need to put something off… essentially, to say ‘no’ to something…mean there was something wrong with me. That I was somehow “less than…”

I’m usually good at saying no (I’ve been practicing for a few years now), but I’m starting to realize that it’s the times when I’m spread the thinnest that I forget the power of that little word and all the goodness that can come from using it. When I’m so busy that I don’t take time to stop and think, I end up making some not-so-great decisions. Makes sense, really.

So, right now, I’m going to take a few minutes to think about what else I might be able to defer until I’m less swamped. I bet I can come up with 5. Here goes:

  1. The parent coffee scheduled with my son’s class next week
  2. Painting the trim around the window in the kitchen
  3. Cleaning out the laundry room
  4. Updating my home page design
  5. Reading the dozen-plus articles I’ve got open in different tabs on my computer

Wow. That actually wasn’t so hard after all. And just like that jury summons, my deferred list isn’t going any where. But now I can get to it when I’m less crazed, and that’ll work for me.

So how about you? What five things can you defer this week?