I used to suffer from a tiny little addiction. It started as a habit and then, before I knew it, I was running myself ragged, burning the candle at both ends and experiencing full-on burnout. The good news is, recently I kicked it. I said peace out and haven’t looked back. What was it? Saying YES to everything under the sun, also known as being unable to say no.
My current status: In a season of NO.
Now before you start thinking I must be failing at my milspouse or mom duties, hear me out. I love volunteering. At our previous duty station, I served as Ways and Means Chair and then President of our Spouses’ Club, I chaperoned field trips, assembled packets for my kids’ classrooms, participated in service projects and attended every promotion and change of command ceremony my husband asked me to. I was captain of Team TOO MUCH and it all started with my tiny little addiction to saying yes.
Were those experiences awesome? Of course! Did I enjoy being involved? Most of the time, but here’s what I learned: Too much of a good thing is a thing. Every time you make a decision to add something to your schedule, it’s at the expense of something else. Time is something we just can’t make more of. Sure we can put laundry or grocery shopping, but sometimes we are giving up far more important things like self-care and sanity.
There’s a time and a place for everything.
My season of no doesn’t mean that I say no to everything. What it does mean is that I have given myself permission to say no, realizing that just like I tell my kids: no is an answer just like yes. Those no’s are keeping me from running myself ragged; they’re allowing me to honor my commitments as a solo-preneur, rather than constantly putting things off; they’re allowing me to be 100% present for the things I say yes to.
Know that you can be a supportive wife, a loving mom, and a committed volunteer and say no to some things. As we move further into fall, I encourage you to view this season as one of preparation. The holiday season is approaching and as tempting as it is to get a running start, try choosing restful preparation instead.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider a season of no starting today:
- You’re worth it. Say yes to prioritizing caring for yourself.
- No is an answer just like yes. Anyone who gives you grief about it isn’t respecting your time.
- You model the choice for your kids. It never hurts to learn this lesson early.
- It forces you to define your priorities. This makes you feel like less of the bad guy. Define your priorities and use them as a litmus test to determine if you should say yes or no.
- It gives you time to rest. As wives and moms, we already struggle with this. Take your time back and choose rest instead.