That’s what a lovely colleague of mine said in response to my long winded explanation for why I wasn’t able to volunteer for a cause she was championing at our organization that was personal to me and that I believed in. We both knew she needed help and we both knew that I could help her, that I had provided much needed support in the past, and that I wanted to help keep the cause going.
My long winded explanation included that I needed to say no more now so that I could focus on my core responsibilities, reserve my energy by taking care of my health, and ensure I had time to spend with my family that wasn’t when I was too exhausted or angry to enjoy their company.
She simply patted me on the knee and said with a smile, “No need to explain. You do you Boo.”
At first, I was just grateful that she understood and was giving me permission to be okay with saying no. Then I really thought about what she was saying. She was saying, it doesn’t matter if she understands or not. It doesn’t matter what my reasons are. What mattered was that I had the responsibility to do me well. I’m the best me there is, but only if I take care of me, only if I do me. She respected and cared about me enough to want me to do me.
Okay friends, you do you and I do me. Let’s be the best versions of ourselves. Everyone else is taken.