Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Flip Side

Despite trying to say "YES" to my kids more, I am also trying to say "NO" more to the things that aren't important or that don't work for me.  I read a post a few years ago that I can't find anywhere (help me out with the link, Linn?) by my wise cousin (also featured in the last post) where she talked about some great advice her dad had given to her.  He told her something to the effect that she didn't need to make excuses or give explanations, she could just say "no" if something wasn't going to work for her.  She could simply say, "No, that just doesn't work for me." No apologies or lengthy explanations needed.

I heard another wise tidbit--if you say yes to something, you are saying no to another. For example, saying yes"to watching 10 hours of TV in a day means that you probably won't get a lot of housekeeping, mothering, studying, cooking, etc. done. If you say yes to volunteering for an organization, you are saying no to using that time for your family. If you say yes to eating a whole chocolate cake, you are saying no to feeling good, being healthy, etc.

My friend Jill and I were chatting about this the other day--I think that oftentimes we feel obligated to say yes or somehow make things work.  Do men have this problem, or is it mainly an issue with women? We don't want to let people down or we don't want them to think less of us.  Many times, we simply want to help out, but it may come at the expense of other things that are more meaningful in our lives. Her husband recommended that she practice saying "No!"--quickly and loudly.  Jill and I laughed about it, but it made me think more about the whole idea of committing myself to things that I really can't (or shouldn't) do.

So, while I will continue to make the effort to say YES when I can, I will also try to say NO, without the guilt.



LinnOrganized said...

I think this Linn sounds pretty awesome! :) I had that post on the moms' project I had been working on, but since I moved over to my own blog, I haven't put it up. How about I do that right now, just for you? Because you are so kind and wonderful! I'll come back and give you the link when it is ready. Thanks Lisa!

PS. Thanks for your kind words about Jacob's grandpa.

LinnOrganized said...

I am here to serve. :)

Janene said...

I'm glad I read this today. How many times could I take a minute with Ben, get down on the floor and play cars with him? It doesn't take much to simply make their day!

My thought is this: saying no to other people's 'important' things will leave us more time for our most important things, our most important people, that is. :o)

Enjoy conference!

Amber said...

I've thought a lot about this since I saw your last post on "just say yes". Basically, I've come to the conclusion that if saying "yes" leaves you feeling stressed out and unable to spend quality time with your family, then it should have been a "no". If by saying "yes" at least to your children more often, it allows them to safely explore, learn things, or just have fun (even if it means there is a mess to clean up, or if it sets back dinner time a bit), then it's probably worth it.

Fame said...

i just practiced the art of saying NO to our choir director who guilt forced me into saying yes to playing for the choir program in december. i don't have the time. i don't have the skills she wants. it simply wasn't going to work and she wanted this lengthy explanation for why i was "backing out" on her. i didn't give one other than its simply not working for me right now. she didn't like it but that was the truth! right now, i can't take on one more piano assignment for anyone! love the idea of saying no to one thing while that says yes to something else.