Saying NO to YES

Here’s the honest truth. I haven’t worked (for a paycheck, anyway) in about 2 weeks. I entered into this circumstance of my own free will~ with certainty about the decision and with very little concern about how I would fill up the hours now awarded to me. I joked that I would stay home and vacuum all day until something better came along.

It turns out there are multiple moments I would have missed had I been working. I would have missed spending the entire day with my son yesterday replenishing his wardrobe, having sushi for lunch, grabbing a cup of Starbucks and heading to the grocery to pick up dinner.
I would have missed having a leisurely lunch with a girlfriend last week and catching up on what’s been going on in the last few months.

It occurs to me that while I was so busy building relationships at work that a lot of my relationships at home had taken a hit. I rarely had time to devote to just “hanging out”; instead always having a project, a report, an endless stream of emails or a service to get to. My priorities had shifted to an unhealthy place. I didn’t say no very often, even if it meant additional stress or a strained itinerary. My daughter, after being put off on the phone for the umpteenth time started asking if I was EVER not in a meeting or busy getting ready for something “important”.  

I’m not suggesting everyone should run out and quit their jobs.  What I am suggesting is that you remain vigilant about prioritizing and creating boundaries. I am suggesting that we don’t spend so much time glued to our computer that we miss what’s happening just outside the window…or that we don’t become so fixated on addressing the needs of our workload that we neglect our families…and it’s so much easier to slip into that misstep than you might think.

In the last couple of weeks, the tiniest things have brought me so much peace. I feel unencumbered by the weight of a task list a mile long. My calendar is no longer riddled with conflicts that I have to be creative about solving. I’ve heard myself say “no” ~ out loud to things that are outside my scope of interest. I can’t be everything to everyone and neither can you.

There is a lot to be said about approving your own agenda.  I am learning to say NO to the constant urge to say YES. I can now respond to last minute items without having a panic attack and it’s freedom, people! Sheer, unadulterated freedom. It’s probably not forever but it’s for now and I am thankful for the rest.

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