monday – memorial day party
wednesday – youth group
thursday – scuba class
friday – dinner with friends
saturday – baseball game
sunday – scuba dive
i looked at the calendar this weekend and realized i have something going on every single night this week except for one.
when am i going to do laundry? or buy groceries? or spend time with my husband?
while the busy-ness of this week is a bit unusual for us, we do like to do things and see our friends and go out.
but how much busy is too busy?
how many times have you heard, when you ask someone how they’ve been, “oh, i’ve been sooooo busy!” or how many times are you the one saying it?
it seems to be our culture to fill up our calendars and then wonder why we never get anything done.
i read an article somewhere that talked about saying no to things that you don’t really need to do. it said once you figure out what your goal is, to be ok saying no to things that don’t contribute to you reaching that goal.
that article really settled into me. not only did it open my eyes to the fact that i really don’t need to be doing all the things i’m doing, but i felt like it gave me permission to say no.
if you stuff a cabinet full of stuff, and then try and open it to put more in, things will start to fall out because there’s no room for what’s already in there, much less what you’re trying to add in.
that’s how my brain feels when i’m too busy. i can’t seem to fit much more thought in there because it’s already full. and creativity? forgetaboutit. i lose all form of creative thought when i’m busy because i go into get ‘er done mode. it’s hard for me to relax because i have too much stuff to do. and while i’m doing that stuff, my mind is usually on everything else that isn’t getting done.
a little downtime is good for the soul.
for me, i’ve found it absolutely necessary. if i’m not giving myself a little breathing room, then i’m not taking very good care of myself. and when i’m not taken care of, it’s hard for me to give the best care to others.
so while sometimes i can feel selfish for wanting some ‘me’ time, it really is beneficial for my relationships because i’m refreshed enough for others that i can give them my all. i can be fully in the moment for them.
when my cup is full i have something to pour out to others.
i used to feel so guilty saying no to this party or to that lunch. i felt that if someone went to the trouble of inviting me, then i was obligated to go. and i worried that if i didn’t go, i would be hurting my friend or making them feel unaccepted or something.
but i’ve learned that at times it’s actually the right thing for me to do. and that after i say no, things are still going to be ok. my friends will still be my friends, and they will still know that i love them. and that i will probably accept their invitation the next time around when i can be all in for them.
saying no doesn’t have to lead to harm, it can lead to good. just use it wisely and with kindness, and you will find that there is life after no.