Say No // THe Average Girl's Guide

Do you ever have the opportunity to take a step back and really look at your life?

Sure we all say that we’re doing fine and happy and great, and while in large part we probably mean it, do we really? I definitely hope so but sometimes taking a step back to reflect is an amazing, necessary opportunity that can ultimately make us even happier than we imagined, or thought we were.

This past year I took a step down serving as co-chair for a nonprofit I’m passionate about. I’m still on the committee and am active with a few other nonprofits but I just didn’t have it in me.

I don’t blog 5 to 6 times a week like I used to, instead it’s 3 to 4 times a week.

None of this is my style, and it kind of kills this workaholic girl, but I have to be okay with it.

The reason is simple: every single time you say no to one thing you are really saying yes to something else. 

And, those differences are ultimately creating a happier person. {don’t get me wrong: I was/am so happy before, but with finite number of hours in the day, little changes add up!}.

Because I stood up and said no, I’m now saying yes to extra time at night with my husband. I’m saying yes to those fleeting moments cuddling with our kiddies. I’m saying yes to impromptu girls night out or dinner dates. I’m saying yes to my clients, and I’m saying yes to doing all of these things better.

I’m saying no to being frantic and crazy. Not that I realized that I was but taking a step back to realize where my moments of joy came from, and moments of stress, helped me realize I was stretching myself too thin. I didn’t totally realize it because separately all of these things were awesome in my life, but together, they were draining me.

Being on this roller coaster is not what life is about. I love bursts of excitement and forward momentum but I also love Disney’s leisurely It’s a Small World where you get to soak in every moment, your surroundings, the loved ones you’re with. #momanalogy

The past five years have gone by abundantly quickly for me. I’ll get into that more over the next few weeks however finally stopping to process what the hell has happened has helped me really understand my journey to this moment, where I want for my future, the steps needed to get there and, also, what’s holding me back.

I know I don’t want to be stuck to my phone like I’ve been. So when I say no to doing those things that are stretching me thin, I’m also saying yes to putting down my phone more often. To my kids and clients and friends not thinking that they’re competing for my attention. {ugh, I hate that I’ve even had to acknowledge this in myself}. I’m saying yes to my family. People I love, and who love me. And, I’m saying yes to me.

They say it’s the busy people who get things done. Despite my intense desire to help, particularly when it comes to charity, I’ve been fortunate through this reflection to see other ways I can perhaps help. For example, I’ve been fortunate through my PR firm to help more nonprofits, both through providing pro bono services and as long-term clients.

I have to confess that saying no, just like feeling victorious after a killer negotiation, is pretty invigorating.

If you haven’t done it before or enough try it.

I’ve always been really impressed by a few friends and contacts who say no and don’t feel the need to provide a rationale or explanation to their decision. I’m still working on this one. They just say no (even if they’re really getting a pedicure!). That’s even more empowering. And, I respect it. I respect them and their time, and if I’m respecting their time I better damn well respect mine.