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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman With Full Schedule Longs To Just Say No

DEAR ABBY: I am 40, married and busy. I work a full-time job and go to school part-time. My schedule is filled with just my normal activities. I have a busy social life and many family members, so every weekend my husband and I are invited to something.

I enjoy these gatherings, but sometimes I just want a weekend to myself to do what I want to do -- go to the beach, a park, take care of something that needs to be done around the house, or just sit and watch TV or go to a movie.

I find it hard to say no to the invitations. How can I politely decline some of them without offending or hurting friends or family members? -- SOCIAL ENOUGH IN THE SOUTH

DEAR SOCIAL ENOUGH: So you're a people pleaser. It is not rude or hurtful to refuse invitations by saying, "Thank you for wanting us, but we already have a commitment for that day." It's also not rude to tell the person your schedule has been so full that you have been buzzing around like a bee in a fit and need to just plain rest and catch up on chores. That's what I recommend you start doing without feeling guilty about it, because everyone needs a certain amount of downtime so they don't make themselves sick.

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