Girl Talk: It’s no, no and no for 2014

WELL, here we all are, two weeks into the New Year - which means most of us will be ready to abandon the resolutions we made on the first of the month.

It's the time of year to give up smoking, alcohol, food and whatever other vices one may have that one doesn't want to have.

I don't smoke (thank goodness) and keep my booze intake to sensible levels.

The only drugs I take are prescribed by my GP. These days, all I need to get a bit of a buzz happening is to stand up too quickly - instant party time!

So I have to look deeper within myself to find areas for improvement.

This year, I have decided to learn to say no more often; instead of rushing around like a mad thing trying to juggle work and household chores with picking up interstate visitors from the airport and ferrying them around on endless sightseeing trips.

I'm always thrilled - well, mostly - when friends take the time, trouble and expense to visit (and I'm more than happy to provide a bed), but just because they're on holidays doesn't necessarily mean I can be also.

Saying no will also extend to backing off from body corporates.

I am the go-to person on two of the bloody things at the moment, by default.

On one, that means nobody else could be bothered doing it, so it falls to me to chase up insurance payments and contributions to keep the environmentally sound septic system running.

I also monitor what goes in to the septic, in terms of cleaning products and chemicals - thankfully that's as far as that duty extends.

The other has a couple of other women who also pull their weight, but I've become the Garbage Nazi.

I find myself peeking in the communal wheelie bins, tut-tutting if there's a pizza box in the recyclables (contaminates the whole load) or, heaven forbid, a plastic shopping bag holding the inevitable PET bottles.

I don't like fossicking around in bins; I dislike even more having to put signs up imploring fellow residents to keep their rubbish sorted.

And as for my new neighbours who took offence when I mowed their lawn after one fell and sprained her ankle and the other confessed she didn't know one end of a mower from the other …

I'm sorry I disempowered your capabilities as strong, independent and proud lesbians (as you so quickly informed me).

I thought I was just being neighbourly. I asked several of my lesbian friends (in case I had unthinkingly crossed a line), and they said yes, definitely neighbourly.

Lesson learned.

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