No!

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To be everywhere at once and everything to everyone is just not possible, you know.

My mother used to say, “Men ken nisht tantzen oif tzvei chasunas”—it’s impossible to dance at two weddings at once.

I am starting to feel the air leaking out of that tire…the “feel good, anytime, up for anything, indiscriminate spending of energy”…the “why not? I can do this thing—it’s nothing I’ve tried before, but it’s an adventure” that starts off looking simple, but ends up costing me a chunk of my soul-attitude.

Someone recently said to me, “You know, Mirel, you make it all look so easy.”

Well, not so fast…’cause it’s fraught with “what-ifs” and also, “I can’t make it all the way—how did I even get involved with this? I said yes to both, and now I must find a way to disappoint, and to pluck out of thin air a retraction, a redaction, or to somehow wiggle out of this fresh agony of commitment”…because it’s impossible to be here and there, in and out, and roundabout—all of you, all of it, all at once.

How about that? I might have to find a way to speak the truth and sit this one out, say the dreaded N word—NO means NO!?!

After all, “no” is a complete sentence all by itself, even though it is a paltry two letter word. “No” packs a punch, especially unaccompanied by convoluted explanations and apologies.

So, “Maybe not tonight, because my little one is waiting for a bedtime story…”

“Maybe not this week, because I can’t squeeze another ounce of life out of it…”

“Maybe not this cause…we donated last year, it’s true, but this time we won’t make it”.

“Maybe not with you, because I don’t have the wherewithal to start a whole new relationship with commitments which have nothing to stand on. We don’t have much in common anyway…”

“Maybe you should try someone else.”

Good times.

I don’t believe you can or should withdraw from everything all at once…but I am tempted to try. Good times…yes…but with less of the frenetic, indefatigable fairy-like flitting, and more of the “staying in and watching a movie with my family while you go on and party without me tonight” magic.

Good times that start with the word NO.


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Mirel Adler
Mirel Adler is an Orthodox Jewish writer and Clinical Social Worker who lives in a small vibrant community in South Jersey with her 4 opinionated biological children and an assortment of chosen family members. She has a therapy practice which services Lakewood and Cherry Hill, specializing in helping families communicate well. Mirel actually has a husband who loves to cook, which frees her up to get into no end of adventures! Mirel writes and reads her original poetry as a spoken word artist who frequently performs at open mic events in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

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