Monday, November 21, 2011

The Fine Art of Saying "No"

Any of you who really know me know I have a hard time saying 'no' to anyone.

I am a people pleaser.  I want so badly to always be there for others and help out any way I can.  This in and of itself is not a problem...but when you push yourself to the limit, or realize you are making yourself crazy, then it becomes a problem.

I promised myself that this year, this holiday season, would be different.  I will not overcommit!  I won't do it! 

Well- at least my intentions were good.

My daughter is in the Nutcracker.  This means lots of practices and one whole week when she will be performing every day, sometimes twice a day.  I will have been chewed up and spit out by the Nutcracker come December 11th.

My son has been part of our homeschool chorus.  Every Monday we have practice.  Sometimes for two hours.

Add in ballet classes and taewkondo classes. 

Then there is piano lessons.  Lessons are one day a week.  Then we have a performance at a local nursing home in mid-December.  Then they have a family Christmas performance.

Busy much?

Yesterday I was sitting in church when they asked for volunteers to help out with a Pack the Pantry event in which we will be collecting food for the needy in our community.  My son immediately poked me in the elbow and said "Sign us up Mom!"  My first reaction, I am ashamed to admit, was a heavy sigh.  ONE more thing. But if my 12 year old son was excited about giving to needy families, then I should be too...right?

Of course I signed us up.

Then it occured to me, as I pondered myself and my confounded inability to say 'no'.... if I fill up my calendar with selfish things, how will I ever find the time for the important things in life?  Even if it wasn't a food drive for the needy.  Maybe it is to just to be with my kids, with all the time in the world to listen to their thoughts.  Or be there for a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. 

Now, saying 'no' isn't so difficult.   If I have to say no to an opportunity, I'm not letting someone else down or disappointing them.  I am just making sure my time is availiable for anyone who needs me.  And that is time well spent.


  1. Girl you NEED How to have a Mary heart in a Martha world. All about saying no and how it's not only a favor to ourselves but to others as well. :) Unless of course it means you aren't doing my hair ;)

  2. Oh, I am so doing your hair!! :D