Countless books have been written about it...
There are seminars galore to teach you to be better at it...
Many women I know struggle with it...
Countless have undoubtedly sought therapy for it...
*IT* is the inability to say **NO** when someone asks you to do something, donate something, work at something, make something, commit to something, teach something, lead something, join something.
Last week as I listened to an acquaintance rattle off all the things she had done that morning (I swear she was holding her head in her hands), all the things she had yet to do that afternoon before picking her children up at three different schools, then all the after-school activities and commitments she had, I confess I zoned out. Though I shook my head feigning sympathy for her plight, in all honesty I could not relate.
I am one of those people who doesn't have trouble saying *NO*.
In fact, I say *NO* to almost everything I am asked to do above and beyond the little world in which I spin.
Not because I think I'm above doing it.
Or that I don't think people and organizations need help.
I say *NO* because most of the time saying *YES* would take away some of the precious little time I have with my family, and it would make me feel like I said *YES* in vain. I would not be saying *YES* with a happy heart. And it would eventually make me resent doing whatever it is I committed to doing, and resent the organization or people I am doing it for. Which is exactly the opposite of how I want to feel - and how they want me to feel.
Because I work upwards of 50-55 hours a week (including a long commute twice a day), I belong to exactly zero organizations/groups. Our two oldest kids do one non-school activity per season if they want, or sometimes they don't do any. Our preschooler does none. We are not running various and sundry places every night of the week with a spreadsheet formula for who-picks-up-who-when.
The other reason I usually say *NO* is that I have grown to realize that my personal stars just don't align very well for being a joiner, a committee member, a rah-rah or go-to-meetings kind of person. I don't do well trying to navigate various and sundry personalities all trying to meld toward one common cause.
Now, I'm not a total loss. There are times I say *YES* - usually when there is something I can do at home after the kids are in bed. Paper-y things like printing fliers and addressing invitations are good. Paper is not a minefield to me. We get along very well. And if I do say *YES*, you can bet your bippy I will come through. I make very few commitments, but I keep all of the commitments I make.
And, I'll always gladly donate money since I choose not to donate my time. Cash is king in a lot of instances, right? Right? (And do not get me started on children + fund raising. Help me Rhonda...That is another post for another day.)
all that to say...
For all of you who say *YES*, I salute you. God bless you for the time, the effort, the energy, and the support you give to many, many groups and organizations. I am sure that most of you reading this say *YES* much more often than I.
And, even though I say *NO*, please don't think I don't realize that because of that, someone else has to say *YES*.
For all of you who drive, write, call, and attend. THANK YOU!
For all the PTA-ers, the Girl/Boy Scout leaders, the Sunday School teachers and the team Moms/Dads - THANK YOU!
For all of you who go early, stay late, work an extra shift and sell when you think you can't sell any more - THANK YOU!
My season right now is a season of raising teens/tweens/ and toddlers. Of working much more than I really want to, and often feeling like I am swimming up stream. Of trying to carve out some semblance of time with my husband (mac n' cheese and red wine anyone?) and maybe even a few snippets of time alone to recharge.
This, too, shall pass and change and I am sure there will be a season where I am much more ready, willing and inclined to say *YES* more often.
But until that time comes, I am forever grateful for all the *YES* women and men out there.
From the bottom of my heart- thank you!