So a couple of months ago, I took a deep breath and for the first time turned down a $5,000 writing assignment, and it felt good to say no. Of course, soon after, I fell into nothing short of flat-out panic—this, as we know, is the way with addictions. But the better part of me was inspired, and I decided to perform an experiment in 2013: I am going to (force myself to) say no to 20 percent of the work I am offered; I am going to (force myself to) spend 20 percent less money on travel and treats; and then I am going to (force myself to) enjoy the resulting downtime. Before too long, I’ll probably begin to enjoy the psychic space I’m opening up. I’ll be a better friend and mentor and partner to the people who have always made allowances for my workaholic ways. It will be a little bit thrilling to act from the center of my own desires with regard to the money I make and the money I spend, and to stop living to please or annoy or subvert my father.
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