Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Loud Do You Say NO?

This week I was talking with a sweetheart of an author about family, writing, and RWA. From our conversation, I could tell she was on the road to burn out. That is, if she’s not already there.

Women, and some men too, often try to do everything for everybody because we are such nurturers. We’re the ones that try to ply you with another buttered biscuit or glass of sweet tea. We’re the ones that say, “Sure, I’ll be glad to pick up your dry cleaning on the way to taking the dog to the vet before I have to be at work by 8 a.m.” We’re the ones that promise to exercise on the weekend, but find out that our daughter’s game starts at 1 pm on Saturday and the uniform isn’t washed. And we’re the ones that tell ourselves we’ll find more time to write and then offer to critique three friends’ manuscripts.

We’re well meaning and love to be helpful. Needed.

But we’re also the ones that whenever we forget something, we beat ourselves up over it. We are our own worst enemy.

If this is you, now is the time to start saying NO. To quit feeling guilty about saying NO.

NO, you are not being selfish. NO, you are not lazy. You are protecting what everybody wants. A part of you. This way in ten, twenty, thirty years or more you will still be with us and the funny thing is, you’ll realize all that other stuff wasn’t as important as just being there and being YOU.

Me? I’ve learned to say NO to cleaning my house every weekend from top to bottom. Some days it gets to me and I have to do it, but nothing like I use to. Funny thing. Only time my husband notices is when he sees dust on his TV set.

What have you said NO to lately? What isn’t so important to you anymore?


jennifer echols said...

I am really good at saying NO, because if I don't, my writing won't get done. I learned that the hard way.

Christy said...

I'm much better at saying no than I used to be -- I think it's my age. People expect me to be mean and I hate to disappoint them.

What's not as important as it used to be? Cooking. My sweet husband is just as happy with a sandwich as he is with a meal that took hours to prepare. I used to love to cook but it just doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Now, if I could only feel that way about eating!

MoonCat said...

I'd like to second that about the eating party Christy!

I'm getting better at saying no. I have seen first hand the abyss giving too much of your time and yourself can do to myself as well as others. Running around trying to frantically get everything done doesn't leave much room for quality in what you do and how you live. I have learned prioritizing activities and learning not to feel guilty for doing something for yourself is a good thing.

And yet.. I still fall into the trap, not as bad as before, but I can't help myself, I just like to make sure everyone's all good.