I call this embracing the yes. It’s my new life motto.
And part of this is also pointing out to anyone who will listen that I do in fact say yes. Like this weekend when I told my daughter that it was time to leave the party and she told me that I was always saying no and I said:
“I said yes to the pool, yes to the trampoline, yes to the cookie with dinner and yes to the birthday cake after dinner. I’ve been saying yes all night. This is my first no.”
And when faced with that she was a little less belligerent (but just as upset). And repeating it to myself in that way made me feel better too.
I feel guilt.
All the time I feel guilt. Guilt that I don’t put my all into my family, my job, my marriage, my home, or myself.
Nothing in my life can get everything. I have to spread it all out and hope that I am making good use of my resources, my time and my energy.
So I feel guilt everyday. About basically everything.
And I have to say no a lot. No I cannot stay late, no I cannot volunteer as class mom, no I cannot read that book I want to read, no I cannot run that errand…no. no. no.
And I have come to realize (a little late, but still) that almost every no that I say is actually a yes in disguise.
When I say no to staying late at work I am saying yes to my family. Yes, it is important that I get home.
When I say no to class volunteering I am saying yes to my committment to my job and the people I work with.
When I say no to my child I am often saying yes to the fact that I love them enough to make sure they are safe, sane and well cared for.
And so on and so on…
Has anything actually changed in my life? Yes.
I feel better about the choices I make. And I feel better when I actually pay attention to what I am saying yes to when I say no. And I weigh the options more.
And I am a little more fun to be around. Because I say yes more.
And yes is a great word.
It flows nicely off the tongue.
And in some ways it is easier than no. And it’s a lot more fun.