(As a single mom, its important to set boundaries. I struggle with setting boundaries on my time and saying no. This post is shared from an earlier blog of mine)
Just saying no was difficult for me. I am a people-pleaser, by nature. I have always had a hard time saying the word “no” … OK, not to my kids (as I am sure they would tell you) but to others who would ask me to help with projects, take over lessons for them, fill in for people when they were too busy to do their jobs, etc.
But I found out this week that my curse is being lifted. I can now use the word NO and not feel sorry about saying it!
My mom called me on Tuesday night and told me that there was an important business meeting set up for the following morning in Salem at 8 a.m. I work with my folks on the family farm, so it isn’t unheard of for me to get calls like that. I was expected to attend this meeting. I didn’t hesitate a moment – I told her that I could not make it at 8 a.m. but would be there by 8:30. My daughter gets on the bus at 8 a.m. and Salem is 30 minutes away.
A few months ago, I would have told my mother I would be there at 8 a.m. and then spent the next 1/2 hour worrying about how to make that happen, and then would have ended up calling my sister to see if she could put Youngest Daughter on the bus in the morning (thereby not only messing up our morning, but hers as well.)
I am so proud of myself! And it didn’t hurt a bit.
Another example – I am a member of the local fire department rehab team (we help out on the scene of large, multi-alarm fires by supplying food and water to the firefighters), and we have some training coming up over the next two months on Wednesday evenings. I got an email this weekend from the director of our Sunday School program telling me that all the teachers (I am one of them) will have some special meetings about our new curriculum for the next 6 Wednesday evenings … and some of those times will conflict with the rehab training for the fire department.
Without hesitation, I sent back an email explaining that I would be available for about half the trainings, but would not be available for at least three of them due to a prior commitment. BOOM! No guilt, no stressing over what I would do and how I would make time for both trainings. Just explained the situation, and went on with my day.
This is so liberating! I love saying NO with no guilt.
Over the past two years … well, almost two and a half years now … I have been at the mercy of everyone else’s needs and schedules. Doctors appointments, radiation appointments, meetings with lawyers and bankers … everyone it seems had a say in how I spent my day, my week, my month. But now I am finding that its OK for me to say NO … in a loud, clear voice … and let it be. Not feel guilty, and not stress about the outcome of my saying no. I have dealt with enough … I refuse to take on stress, pressed upon me by others, that is not mine in the first place. That is my declaration for my life now. I choose how to spend my days, and how I will structure the hours in those days.
I feel stronger already! 🙂