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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Art of the Selective No


Not only is it one of my daughter's new favorite words, it's also one of mine. 

(Mine is another favorite new word.)

I used to be a real "Yes Man." 
  • Need someone to bake a cake for someone's birthday? I'll do it!
  • Putting together a committee for new project? Pick me!
  • Concert tonight? Wine tasting tomorrow? Happy Hour Friday? Here I come!
2 years ago, back when I was having my dreamy pregnancy, I had big plans to be the perfectly balanced woman - able to be a fully present mom & continue to be the social butterfly.

Well, guess what. I turned down 2 happy hours last week. Oh, I grant you - I had an actual conflict for the first. But the other? I just didn't feel like it. No, not like I was too tired from working-mom stress. I just wanted to come home and play play-do with my kid. I wanted to make her a nice dinner, sit down with her & my husband, eat & talk about our days.

I used to try to be everything at once. Motherhood has blessed me in many ways. Among them: an intense slowdown. I enjoy my career, and I'm good at it. When I'm not at work - I want to be my daughter's mom & my husband's wife. This is not to say that I don't ever want to do anything with friends. I do. I also like doing things by myself. I'm pretty good company, actually! I just no longer feel the pressure to show the world how balanced I am. 

I've heard chatter lately about "just say yes" as a philosophy. I do this too. I do it when it comes to friends' kids' fundraisers, when it comes to smiling at a stranger or paying a compliment to an acquaintance or friend. I do it when it comes to calling up a friend or my Grandpa on my way home, sending a random text or email when I'm thinking of you. I don't do it with the most precious commodity I have - my time.

I have to tell you - it's been quite freeing. I feel much more at peace. I certainly have more on my plate than I am always comfortable with, but it's so much better than it once was. 

So, my advice - for what it's worth - is this:

If your life feels crowded, start saying no. Finish your commitments to others, but jettison what you can. Don't take on new things that you're not passionate about.

Try it. You might like it.

PS - "Giraffe" & "Ocean" are other words we know & love. 

1 comment:

  1. Great shot of the giraffe and boy do I miss the ocean! We're headed to Disney World next week which I am sure will be a BLAST but I am secretly pining for the beach :)