Learning How to Say No*
It’s one of the smallest words in the English language, and yet I struggle with it constantly.
It’s so easy to write, but so difficult for me to say. I had a minor meltdown today. I was on the brink of tears, but the Hubster caught me just in time and sat me down for a talk. After a long discussion, I’ve realized that I can’t do everything and that I need to stop being afraid to say “no”.
You see, I sort of have a full plate these days. During the week I spend most of my days at work, then come home to make dinner, clean up a bit, run errands, and spend some time with the Hubster.
I think that’s normal for most people.
I also just started a course that is taking up far more of my time than I originally anticipated. I spent all of last year taking French courses and decided I needed a break at the end of the summer–which is exactly what I did through the fall. by December I knew I wanted to take something again, and after some thought I decided to take an Additional Qualification course through a teacher’s college. I began Communications – Autism last week and while I’m loving it, it’s incredibly busy. I’ve already completed 4 assignments and have more due this week.
I’m also writing again, and I refuse to give it up. If it means my dishes don’t get done–fine. If it means staying up later than normal to finish–I’m in. I look forward to these quiet moments where I write all day… and more and more I’m finding that I don’t just like it, I need it.
And then there’s church. In case you didn’t know, I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which you may know as “The Mormons”. We don’t have paid clergy in our faith, instead member of the congregation serve in various “callings” for a period of time. In the past I’ve served as a pianist, primary teacher, children’s music leader, and choir director, and I’m currently serving as a Young Women’s President in my ward.
(Basically, this means I organize and oversee a youth program for girls aged 12 – 18.)
I love this calling. I have some amazing, amazing youth in my ward and I love working with them. But at the same time, it’s an incredibly busy and demanding calling. I spend Wednesday evenings running activities for them, and my Sundays are full of church and meetings trying to get everything organized. There is a mountain of emailing and phone calling that happens throughout the week, as well as a variety of regional activities that happen on a regular basis.
…and sometimes it’s completely overwhelming. I’m not very good at being the “in-charge” person who is responsible for everything. I’d much, much rather receive direction, add my own flare and run with it, rather than be the person that everyone goes to with questions and concerns. There are always things I’m forgetting, and new things popping up, and I’m terrible at delegating–I hate feeling like I’m putting people on the spot.
And so, rather than saying “no” and delegating things to my counselors, I say yes.
And then todays happen, when everything going on in my life just seems like it’s too much and I start splitting at the seams… thankfully the Hubster catches me before I completely fall apart.
I need balance. I need peace.
I need time.
I need to focus on the important, and let the rest go.
I need to listen to myself.
I need to not listen to myself.
I need someone else to listen.
I need to delegate.
I need to be open.
I need to be honest.
I need to stop.
I need to remember that that’s allowed.
I need to remember that I know what’s best for me.
I need to remember that I can’t do it all.
I need to be brave.
I need to know that I’m not alone… that other people feel this way.
I need to remember that it’s okay.
I need to learn to say no.
Beautiful, so beautiful
The spirit of this dancing flame
A longing for this feeling to remain
I can’t deny it, there’s no excuse
It’s always with me but rarely used
In the stillness of this moment there are traces of regret
I try to hard to remember but it’s so easy to forget
Lovingly, so carefully
Hidden in this intricate design
Beckoning, calling me
Always somehting here for me to find
These precious moments have become so few
Why do I forget there’s so much to lose
This treasure I’ve been given is a gift I can’t neglect
I’ll try so hard to remember but it’s so easy to forget
I will try to remember
Don’t forget to keep some oil in your lamp there, shopgirl. Keeping that flame lit is a difficult task that requires our constant attention. You are wonderful, you are amazing. I love you!!
Miss Gentle Nudge*
*GIANT BEAR HUG!!!!!!*
I know that there’s not 2 bears there, but that’s just adorable!!!
Also, may I suggest making this: http://www.nbmeehan.com/everything.html the background to your computer? I made it mine ages ago and love it every time I freak out. For example: My computer just randomly shut down. I have a mac and this shouldn’t happen. I got a lil freaked out because I just tried downloading something from Limewire and thought that maybe that was the cause. Anyway when I started my computer back up, that picture was the first thing I saw and it helped me breathe and realize that indeed, everything will be alright.
*GIANT BEAR HUG!!!!!!!!*
As a people-pleaser, I can completely relate.
I am getting better at saying “no”, now I just have to learn to let go of the guilt from it.
If you can’t take care of yourself, how can expect to take care of others?
I’m in the Relief Society Presidency in my ward. I’m quite certain the Young Women are a LOT busier.
I love this post because I think it serves as a reminder that we cannot do everything no matter how hard we try. We women always seem to try to do too much. Be proud to know when you’ve reached your limit!