What is it about this little word? "No", is one of the first words that we learn as a child, and it is also one of the first words that we are taught to stop staying.
We come into this world with basic instincts, they are there to protect us and insure our survival. A little child has no issues with telling you if they are okay with something or not. They easily come right out and tell you to back off and give them the space that they need.
Somewhere this "ability" becomes slowly trained out of us, until we agree to almost anything asked of us. Oh sure, we are past the age of "peer pressure" in the traditional sense. There are however many places that we feel pressured in our lives and should be saying "no".
"Can we have my co-workers over for a BBQ this weekend?", "Mom I would like to start taking karate!", "Would you like to start a weekly play date group?", and it goes on and on. None of these requests are bad things at all, but some times they can be the straw that breaks the camels back to a household already hanging by a thread.
I really enjoy being involved in my community, neighborhood, church, and extended family events, but I do not attend, help, or run all of them. I try very hard to not overfill my schedule, or my family's. Sometimes saying no can feel like the hardest thing in the world, but often times too many "yes" answers can exhaust us and leave us little energy for ourselves.
This issue seems to be one of the top two problems that people have who come to me for advice on clearing the clutter from their lives. Why is it that we feel the need to justify ourselves and our schedules to others? Simply saying "I am sorry, my schedule is too full right now.", can make a big enough statement to give us the space that we need. It doesn't mean that we need to have a previous engagement at the exact time that we are being asked to "donate" ourselves. Some times having too many things in the day or the week, is too much. Don't we all need a down day?
Since this month we are working on things that we have been meaning to get to, try one that we all could use some improvement on. Start saying "NO"!