Pages

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Letting people down


I mentioned in my last post that we spent last week working on college applications, and it was way more time-consuming than expected. So much so that I missed a dentist's appointment, and forgot to return my library books. Luckily for me, the dentist knows the family quite well, and it's the first time I've done it. As for the library books, well, I'm sure the fine will be put to good use.

There was something else that I forgot last week though, something that wasn't quite so easy to fix. I've been trying to write about this for the past few days but it's been really difficult. Back in December I volunteered to do something for someone, something that was supposed to happen this week. I received a confirmation email before Christmas, with the instructions that I should contact the person a week before I was going to help out, with some specific details. You know what I'm going to say. It completely slipped my mind. I emailed her last Friday in a real panic, apologising and asking if there was anything I could do to fix things but got no reply. I'm not really surprised. I let her down. Sorry to be so vague about what the favour was, but I don't want to mention anyone else's name. It was to do with blogging though.

I've felt bad about this all week, and it made me realise that I really need to get my act together. It's fine when my lack of planning and organisation mean I mess something else up for myself, but when it affects other people, I need to change things.

So here's where I make myself accountable. I will not agree to, or offer to do, anything else without making absolutely sure that I have the time to do it, and that I have the mechanics in place to remind me. If I win a book, I will not offer to review it until I've read it and am happy to do so. 'I'll review it sometime' is not an acceptable reply to give to someone. Also, I won't then put myself in the position of having agreed to review a book that I don't feel positive about. If you mention your new book and I say 'it's going on my list', I mean that, (I always have), but being on my list does not necessarily mean that I will be able to buy it in the immediate future, it means that when my circumstances change, yours will be one of the books that I want to get hold of. If I agree to host you on a blog tour, or otherwise do anything blogging-related, know that I will not let you down. If I'm not sure I can fulfil what you've asked for, then I won't make the offer. 

I hate the way I'm feeling right now, I don't want to let anyone down again.

103 comments:

  1. We have all done it though. I agree that it is a horrible feeling - hopefully you will be able to find a system that works for you :) Don't be so hard on yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't be too hard on yourself. We've all done that, forgotten something or someone. Hopefully that person can forgive you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, but if not, lesson learned!

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry you're feeling down. But we all make mistakes, as the saying goes. I forget things regularly! I know you would never let down someone intentionally because you are so very sweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you Ruth, for such kind words.

      Delete
  4. I know how you feel :)

    It's why I posted a notice on my contact page that I can't accept any more beta-reading projects at this time. I found I was falling behind in my commitments, not only to other writers, but to my friends/family and to myself and my own writing goals.

    Take a breath :) It we learn from our mistakes, we won't easily do them again. You've apologized, you've reflected, now you gotta let it go :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least you've taken steps to fix it. Hopefully, I can too :-)

      Delete
  5. Keeping up with everything in our lives can be really hard. Don't beat yourself up over it. Just try to keep your head up and move on. I hope you start to feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the main thing is to learn something from it! Thanks Rena.

      Delete
  6. I agree with what everyone else has said - we've all done something similar, and yes you feel bad about it now. But I'm sure the person in question will forgive you, and I hope you ca forgive yourself. You're making amends by looking at ways not to let it happen in future. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just hope I remember the new rules I've set myself ;-)

      Delete
  7. I can really see that you are beating yourself up about this and I don't think you should. We have unbelievably hectic lives nowadays and though I know we should stick to what we say, if a mistake is made, an apology is a good way to go and you have given that genuinely.

    I'm terrible for forgetting things. I have a diary and I keep absolutely everything in it including work stuff, personal socialising stuff and blogging dates I've said I'll be a part of. It's the only thing that helps. It's all in one place and I carry it with me daily. It may be worth getting yourself a diary and keeping track of things that way. But try not to give yourself too much of a hard time over this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought a new diary for this year. I'm going to start using it :-)

      Delete
  8. It happens! It sucks, but it happens.
    Like you, I try not to agree to anything I know I can't do.
    I'm really conscious of that with my blog schedule. I have so much planned for the next four months (scary, huh?) and I keep everything on a calendar. I'm very paranoid about letting someone down. I want people to depend on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I struggle with my little blog, and no job, I can't even begin to imagine how you keep everything straight!

      Delete
  9. I know exactly how you feel! Doing that life/family/work/blog balance can put anyone off kilter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do any of us ever get it right, I wonder? :-)

      Delete
  10. It's tough when these things happen - but you are human, Sarah. We all have times like this, then make good resolutions to make sure it won't happen again. But sometimes Life has other ideas. I hope you feel better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jo. It's good to be reminded of that fact!

      Delete
  11. You will manage I am sure, just take deep breaths and all will be well!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know it's hard when we feel like we let down others. (I've done something similar before and I felt terribly awful!)But there's no need to be too hard on yourself either. Everybody makes mistakes. Life is demanding and we're all busy. So cheer up, you're not alone. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It helps to know I'm not the only one :-)

      Delete
  13. It happens to all of us. You acknowledged your mistake and apologized. The gracious thing would be for the person to accept the apology. If he/she can't do that, then the mistake is now his/hers.

    It's so hard, because we want to help everybody out -- and it's really, really hard to say no. I'm frequently too quick to say yes, and regret it later when I find myself swamped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to email her again to see if she'd got my email, but I thought that might compound an awkward situation.

      I guess we just have to learn to say no, (or, as in this case, not be so quick to volunteer!).

      Delete
  14. Sarah - you're awesome and so supportive of everyone. Hang in there. These things happen to ALL of us! Seriously. I think it is enough that you have apologized, and I'm sure the person knows that you feel bad. It'll all work out. Life gets hectic sometimes. Keep smilin'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you Leigh. That means a lot.

      Delete
  15. Yeah, I've never been comfortable to agree to review a book before I've read it. I might not like it and then what do I do? yikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned this one recently. Another valuable lesson!

      Delete
  16. ..it happens - especially when life is hectic. We always want to say "yes' don't we? It was a very nice and heart-felt apology indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So...it sucks that you let the person down, but you need to understand that both you and the other person have lives, too. They get in the way, a lot. You plan to do something, something happens, you can't help it. It's kind of lame and immature that they weren't even able to respond to you, we're adults now. If they're pissed, they should say "I was really let down," not just go with no response.

    You're human. To err is human. It's okay to screw up sometimes.

    (Take deep breaths)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lynn(e). I wondered if she hadn't received the email for some reason, but thought it best to just let it drop!

      Delete
  18. I've let people down before and it's SUCH an awful feeling. I'm so sorry you are going through it.

    I hope you manage to get things resolved or at least come to peace with it yourself.

    Like Lynn(e) said, it is okay to screw up sometimes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to let it go. Learn from it, move on and hopefully not repeat it.

      Delete
  19. I'm sorry this happened to you, but the good that came from it is in knowing that it's okay to say "No" to requests. In the long run, it's more beneficial, rather than overextending ourselves and really not being 100% for people. I hope you feel better about this soon, and that the other party accepts your apology :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. It's definitely taught me to think carefully before agreeing to, or volunteering for, something.

      Delete
  20. No one is perfect Sarah. Try not to be so hard on yourself. There's lots of fail in the world. It doesn't matter if someone adds a little more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael, although I'd rather not add too much more if I can help it!

      Delete
  21. Big hugs! It's one thing to feel bad about letting someone down; it's another to take steps not only to make things right, but to try to ensure it won't happen again. Good for you, Sarah! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Colin, and hugs are always welcome :-)

      Delete
  22. Sounds like you have your priorities straight helping your child over an online commitment. You are a sweet person with a conscience, obviously, but shtuff happens, ya know? I find that email calendar reminders (like outlook or even yahoo has this function) can be really helpful. If you have a mobile phone, you can usually set reminders there, too. My work calendar is full of pop-up reminders I have set to remind me to do everything from checking queues to reminding my son to go to the chiropractor. I always have it give me a heads up, too, and you can set them as far or close as you want to the event. I would die without my Outlook calendar at work, seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had a good look at google calender after your comment, and even got Techno to show me how my phone calender works, thank you!

      Delete
  23. It's forgivable. I can see where it could be easy to do and I think I've done it. I'm scared that maybe I've done this and don't realize I did it and someone's still annoyed with me. But we do what we can don't we.


    Lee
    Have you heard about the A to Z Video Challenge?
    Blogging from A to Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine anybody being annoyed with you, but I know what you mean :-)

      Delete
  24. Oh, Sarah,

    We are ALL human and with so many different things going on at once, this can certainly happen. As the others have stated, don't be so hard on yourself. You realized your mistake and did try to make up for it.

    IF the other person is that unforgiving, it might be better for you NOT to have them in your life. With so much blog love out there, we all have sincere, honest, caring, and FORGIVING friends who will not make you feel this badly.

    I know you want to be there for everyone. I am the same way, I can't say no to anyone who needs my help, but now I am careful to make sure I have the time.

    It isn't easy to keep up with the blogosphere and life. Choosing wisely is a good start to organizing your time.

    Cheer up... from what I know about you, YOU couldn't be any more sweet and sincere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Michael, thank you for your lovely words. I don't know her that well to be honest, not the way I know some of my other blogger friends, but she does seem like a nice person. I wondered if she didn't get the email I sent, but thought it best to leave it.

      And I can totally imagine you wanting to help everyone in need who crosses your path :-)

      Delete
  25. I know how you feel. I've made a promise to myself this year to make the most out of opportunities and not let them pass me by (usually due to my own doing). Now you know what the issue is, it's gonna be easier to sort it out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so! Here's to both of us getting organised this year :-)

      Delete
  26. I'm sorry you had this happen to you, but all of us need to remember that life, our families, have a way of coming FIRST. We need to be forgiving and understanding when blogging gets put in the back seat. We cannot be everywhere, doing everything all the time. It's simply impossible. And, though it may sound kind of hard, real people must come before cyber people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Bish. It's something I need to remind myself of now, before I say yes to anything else.

      Delete
  27. Yeah the other day I was supposed to host a guest post on my blog by one of my blogging friends.

    And then my power got cut and I put the post up two weeks late. I felt terrible.

    I'm sorry that you went through the same sort of thing. Good luck with getting a system in place. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say, as a reason, a power cut beats 'I was stressed and forgot'! At least you got there in the end :-)

      Delete
  28. awww sweetie! i hope she gets back to you soon so that you don't feel so bad
    great policy though!
    i signed up for something in february, and i keep trying to remind myself not to forget... but i forget lots of stuff! eeks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I now have a diary, an electronic diary, post-it notes and my phone reminders. One of them had to work, surely ...

      Delete
  29. I feel your pain. I HATE when something like that happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. I need to make sure I don't do it again. I do NOT like feeling like this!

      Delete
  30. Been there and done that. I understand when people let me down as I know we all make mistakes. A lot worse things can happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny, I've been fine when people have had to let me down too. Why are we always harder on ourselves than others?

      Delete
  31. Try not to throw jabs at yourself. You're human; mistakes are a fortune, you know? I understand what you mean though, how you feel terrible to let a person down, I get it, and by my understanding of your guilt it made me think about who and what I can handle. Thank you. See, you didn't let me down.

    Perfect post...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to you Ty-Shaun, and thank you so much for your comment. I'm so glad that you got something out of the post. By the way, the background art on your blog is incredible.

      Delete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Try not to throw jabs at yourself. You're human; mistakes are a fortune, you know? I understand what you mean though, how you feel terrible to let a person down, I get it, and by my understanding of your guilt it made me think about who and what I can handle. Thank you. See, you didn't let me down.

    Perfect post...

    ReplyDelete
  34. When I feel like that I try and see what I am doing right. It's always more than think :) I bet you are even more amazing than you even know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a wonderful way to look at things, thank you :-)

      Delete
  35. I agree with what Angela said. Sometimes its hard to not feel this way, but you've done so much good and right in your life, and that should not be discounted. I know I've learned so much from you.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, really? Thank you so much for that, Sarah. That's made me day :-)

      Delete
  36. Sarah, you're not perfect. No one is. Lives get busy, and sometimes things we promise, which we meant with all our good intentions, get forgotten. You did not do this out of malice. You did not do this because of sheer laziness or because you didn't care. Those are not as forgivable. It was an honest mistake, and it should be forgiven. More importantly--you should forgive yourself.

    You could be me, talking about this stuff. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lydia. And hugs are always good :-)

      Delete
  37. Don't be too hard on yourself, after all, your intentions were good. If you've apologised to the person and received no response, at least you have done your part to make amends. These things happen... it's part of life & part of the human condition. Hopefully, the person will get to read this post and realise that it was an honest slip-up...
    For what it's worth, you're a real sweetie pie (to me, anyway...)*hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww Mish, thank you. Hugs right back :-)

      Delete
  38. Oh dear Sarah. You've always been such a great support to everyone that you follow. Sometimes life happens, and I hope that the person understands that.

    As long as you've done your best, and tried to make a mends (you apologized after all) then you will be ok.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mel. At least I can say I've learned something :-)

      Delete
  39. I agree with Angie too. Look to the positive and remember we are human and everyone makes mistakes. I hope this person can realize that too.

    I've started using Google calender and having it remind me of things. Seems to be working.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I'm a recent convert to Google calender too. As well as a few other things :-)

      Delete
  40. It's an awful feeling when you've wanted to help someone and then can't for whatever reason. I expect the person concerned feels dissapointed, but hopefully this hasn't caused them too huge a problem and you can make it up to them somehow.

    I do try not to commit to things I can't do, but it isn't always easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely need to be more discerning about what I agree too (in life even more than blogging). There's no law that says I can't say no occasionally :-)

      Delete
  41. I sympathize with you. I haven't done this yet, but the way things have been going lately I could do something like this. Time to take control of my life again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! I screw up so my friends don't have to :-)

      Delete
  42. I used to consistently double book myself. I would know one thing was going on and when and I would know another thing was going on and when but for whatever reason I wouldn't realize the two "whens" were at the same time. I had to figure out a way to fix that and I did. Just as you have figured out a way to fix this in the future. Things have to go wrong in order for us to know something needs to be fixed. I hope the person you made the commitment to is able to forgive you if he/she hasn't already and just been too busy to get back to you :). But either way, you've done all you can do to repair the mistake so I hope you can let it go and put it in the life lesson file.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely lesson learned! Your comment made me grin. 'That July 4th is at the same time as this July 4th? Who knew?' This sounds so much like something I would say :-)

      Delete
  43. It happens. And, yes, we should feel bad when it does. Then move past it and do what you're doing. Work on not letting it happen again.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You are human, Sarah. Sometimes the things that remind us of this aren't very comfortable. But don't beat yourself up for too long. You have learned from this and try your best not to let it happen again. That's all any of us can do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can safely say I've learned. I really don't like feeling like this.

      Delete
  45. Things happen and as long as it is the exception for you and not the norm , you should not beat yourself up about it and I believe that the person you let down will (should) forgive you. I think that your post speaks volumes about your character. The mere fact that you are this upset about letting a person down indicates that you are a good, reliable and honorable person. We have all taken on more than we should at one time and the holidays get particularly chaotic. Hopefully the reason you have not received a response to you email is because this person has just been too busy herself to catch up with email. You are human and mistakes are allowed.

    I admire your determination to turn this into a positive by setting boundaries for yourself. I have the hardest time saying no to people and I have been exploring new ways to say no or rather to not commit myself when I am not absolutely certain that fulfilling the obligation will not unduly burden or impose on my family or work priorities. I like your ideas and I think that they can and will work. I am going to run with your ideas, especially the one about not committing to an engagement unless---- "So here's where I make myself accountable. I will not agree to, or offer to do, anything else without making absolutely sure that I have the time to do it, and that I have the mechanics in place to remind me."

    The key (for me) is having the mechanics in place to remind me. Thank you for the brilliant yet simple solutions to on going problems we all have. You are a good person. Please let it go. Your intentions were good.

    Take care
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, thank you so much for your comment. I'm so pleased that you got something out of this post. The mechanics are in place, so hopefully no more slip-ups! Hugs to you, and hope hubby is doing well x

      Delete
  46. Sarah - I'm so, so very sorry that you've had that feeling of letting someone down. I know that hurts. I do. Please remember that you're a human being. You are, in fact, a wonderful human being who's good to so many people and is a light in the blogosphere. Really. You are. Take a breath, and as they say in the boxing world, wait in your corner for a bit. Here's a message of hope to cheer you {hugs}
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhxjNYvJbgM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, have I told you lately that I love you? ;-)

      I played the video twice :-)

      Delete
  47. When you have a lot going on in life, it's easy to let things slip - don't beat yourself up too much. You've done all you can... I'm sorry you feel down, it's not a nice feeling I know:) Chin up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tania, friends like you lot definitely make me feel better :-)

      Delete
  48. Don't be too hard on yourself! Everyone does it sometimes; it's a human thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks Eagle, I feel better now, especially remembering I'm not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  50. You go Sarah! Good for you to setting down lines and deciding to stick with them. It's really hard to know you let someone down, and I myself am probably not the most reliable person. I really need to finish beta reading that novel for a fellow writer. And read and review that book. I not often accomplish my own mini goals, and that habit tends to leak into things I do (or should do) for others and I really need to take a stance and set aside time to do what needs to be down. You're such an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's both decide the time is now to take that stance :-)

      Delete
  51. I can relate to this. I keep reminding myself that I'd seem a lot better in the eyes of others if I could learn to "under-promise and over-deliver." It's tricky. That being said, though, I am quite capable of saying "no," and I'm glad I feel comfortable doing so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saying No is actually a skill that not enough of us are good at, so you have a head start on that at least :-)

      Delete
  52. I can see from the comments that just about everyone has done this at some point! I know I have! So I hope you don't feel so bad anymore. There's nothing you can really do other than apologise and move on...
    And I have to say here that I am so grateful you agreed to help out with my blog tour. Yes, I'll remind you before it happens (though it sounds like you're planning to be super organised now!) and no, if you happen to forget, I WON'T hate you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, I have the details of your tour written in triplicate, but I'll take that reminder from you too :-)

      Delete
  53. I've done something similar. It was years ago and I still squirm when I think about it. So I won't give you any words of wisdom, just sympathy and a hug.

    *hug*

    ReplyDelete
  54. I will always take hugs Miriam, thank you :-)

    ReplyDelete

I happily answer all comments on my blog, and by email if it's not a 'noreply' address :-)