The Secret of Saying “No”

I’m very much a “yes” girl at heart. Yes, I’ll volunteer for this and that fundraiser. Yes, I’ll be at the extra service this week. Yes, I’ll teach that extra class. Yes, I’ll sign up for extracurriculars. Yes, I’ll meet up at the coffee shop.

But this year, I’m learning to say “no” more than I ever have.

The Secret of Saying No

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No, I’ve got to stay home this week to catch up. No, I’m sorry, teaching that class is actually going to take me away from other priorities. No, I can’t do this fundraiser this time, but I’d love to help next month.

It sometimes means saying no to a lot of good things. Sometimes it means missing out on something that I’d really like to be part of. Sometimes it means giving something up for a time so that I can refocus on other goals.

This year, we’ve said no to a couple of job possibilities that weren’t going to be a good fit for our family. We cut way back on our extracurricular school activities as we settled into our first real year of homeschool. I said no to attending births, no to multiple playdates, no to several homesteading projects, no to the commitment of regular blog posts, and no to teaching some lessons that weren’t fitting in my schedule.

I’m learning to say no to a multitude of self-inflicted pressures. No, my house doesn’t have to be clean today. No, I actually don’t have to make everything from scratch this month. No, I will not feel guilt over the lack of crunchy stuff going on in my life right now.

Happily, all of this gives me room to say yes to the things that matter most right now.  Yes to homeschool. Yes to a few dedicated music students. Yes to gigs that work well for our family. Yes to practicing voice. Yes to time at home together. Yes to reading, yes to drawing, yes to laying together and talking about our day.

Nothing is permanent, and I can always re-prioritize what commitments I choose to take on down the road. However, I can’t get back the time that I lose hustling and bustling and trying to do everything at once.

Here’s to saying yes to the things that matter most.

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