No. But it’s not you, it’s me.

In 2006, I got some money for my birthday, and I was wondering what to spend it on. My buddy Gene, my friend since grad school, suggested that I buy a then-new Nintendo DS. He assured me that it was awesome and well worth the money.

I had three kids then, all in diapers and two of them newborn twins, and a full-time job. I shook my head somewhat sadly and said that I had no time to play video games.

He said that I didn’t understand; that the Nintento DS games were designed for short gameplay and some of the games could be played in just five minutes at a time.

I laughed maniacally and said “You have got to be kidding me. I don’t have five whole minutes. That’s absurd.”

He didn’t understand and went away puzzled. Then he had twins, too. (Understand now, buddy?)

The moral of this story is that sometimes things do get so busy that the idea of five minutes to spend on anything extra  is an impossibility. And that’s where I am right now. Under the best of circumstances, I’d be overcommitted with work and professional obligations right now. And of top of that, I’ve got some chaotic life stuff going on.

No. But it’s not you, it’s me.

In better times, I’d love to speak at that event, blurb your book, do that interview, read that article, come to that party, etc. I really love all of those opportunities, and I’m always amazed and feel incredible fortunate when such wonderful opportunities come my way.

But right now, I have to say no to everything. It doesn’t come easy. My instinct is always to say yes. But if I say yes to anything right now, baby unicorns will die, and neither you nor I want that. I’m mentioning this publicly because any time I say no to someone privately, I can’t help but worry that they’ll take it personally. Please don’t. It’s not you, it’s me.

My over-committed period runs through the end of June.