Just Say No

I officially start work again a week from Thursday, which has caused to do some reflection on my summer, and that has taught me the importance of a lesson that I have learned multiple times and will probably have to learn over again. 

That is the ability to just say no.

I had big plans to finish my MS and while I made some great accomplishments, it’s not where I wanted it to be at this point.  Part of that was rehabbing and recovering from ankle surgery, but part of it was me saying yes to people when I should have said no.  I live in the same town as my parents and my husband’s parents, so when people come to town, they just assume that me or my kids are available to play with them because they are here to play.  My kids’ instrument practicing fell way off, my prep for the next school year fell off, housework is a joke and my writing suffered greatly. 

This morning I realized that while it is essential to have extended family relationships, it shouldn’t come at a cost of everything that me and my family want to accomplish.

I learned a long time ago that if something is important, it needs time.  And I am fully aware that people who are not writers don’t really understand the time it takes to be a writer. I had a friend tell me that if something like this happened, someone wanted my time but I really needed to put it in somewhere else, it was easier to just say I have a previously scheduled appointment or conflict or whatever.  Sometimes I just need to say no, because if I want writing to be a healthy part of my life, other things simply can’t be. 

So I’m making my pledge with myself again that I will say no, both for my kids (I’m okay being a mean old mom) and for myself so that all of us can have a chance at being the kinds of people we really want to be.

What should you say no to that you don’t?  How do you get refocused after getting a little bit lost?

5 thoughts on “Just Say No

  1. You're so right, Tasha. I need to be better at this too–including telling myself NO when it comes to just doing a few more little chores before sitting down to work.


  2. It took me a long time to learn to say no. It used to give me a lot of anxiety, worrying about what others might think, etc. But, most people are okay with it. And really, if they're not, they are not very good friends anyway.


  3. A great post. I sometimes still have trouble saying no, especially for my husband and son. It's easier with friends, but as Joy said, if they're good friends, they'll understand. Good luck!


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