Just Say Yes

A week ago, to the day, I was included on an email from a woman I work with was telling a few people about some work. A college was supposed to have a residential writing course but the tutor couldn’t do it. This colleague of mine had been asked but couldn’t make the dates.

Because the dates included today. It was Monday to Wednesday, this week, so that would mean physically being available, also preparing a three-day course and delivering it, all with four or five days notice.

You know I did it. I can’t try to build that particular suspense.

But I read the email on the run somewhere, I’m sure a couple of hours after it was sent, and then I read it properly many hours later. Sitting on our couch, wrecked from that day’s work and about to head off for more. There was no question in my mind that one of my other colleagues would’ve gone for it and, knowing how good they are, there was no question that they would’ve got it and be right now planning a terrific course.

There was plenty of question over whether I could do a terrific course.

I phoned up and left a message pitching anyway.

I have no idea why.

But tonight I am exhausted, my voice is gone and I’m actually rather elated. This group produced material that choked me. Seriously, when the students were presenting their work, one guy asked me to read it for him and I found it hard to keep a steady voice for the last lines. Isn’t that wonderful?

Nine people created new writing out of nothing and I got to watch them do it.

But it’s also really hot today in Birmingham and when I got into our car at the end of the afternoon sessions, the dashboard was telling me it was 38º Celsius in there. When I got home – forgive this – I had to strip, just strip out of my sweaty clothes, have a shower, lay out a towel on our couch and collapse.

I collapsed into the same seat I’d been in when I was havering over whether to even try calling for this. I am now five days behind on all my other work – the course was three days but with meetings and planning I easily lost another two – but I am so very glad and relieved that I picked up that phone to ring these strangers.

If there is an opportunity, just say yes. Okay?

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