The Power of No

A very novel thought occurred to me the other day: I could just say “no” when asked to do something. Not “I’m soooo sorry, but I have an appointment and I don’t have a sitter for Baylie but please keep me in mind next time you need help, again so so sorry!!”. But rather just a plain and simple “no, I can’t”.

I think it’s funny that this didn’t occur to me before this point – it’s not a novel idea, but it struck me like one. I think when you’re a kid and a teenager and more importantly a young adult, you’re never allowed to say no. You don’t want to be impolite or incorrect or worse, a bitch, so you always give in and say yes. When I had my first and second jobs and my real career, I never said no. And it was that “go getter” attitude that got me where I wanted to go, but I think also the reason I was so burned out when Baylie was born and what spurred me to decided to resign and stay home.

When I can pay taxes, get an umbrella policy on the home I own and give birth to another human being, I can say no to something if I don’t want to do it, consequences be damned. If the other person doesn’t like my answer, oh well. They will either get over it or they won’t and that’s ok by me.

Don’t panic, I haven’t turned over a new, cynical leaf. But I have realized that sometimes for my own sanity I need to back off and not be the “go to” person for all friends, family and everyone else. Peter is laughing at this post right now thinking that this is A. not true and I never say no to anyone but him B. there’s no way I’m going to start saying no to people because it’s not in my vocabulary and C. that I need to stop writing about him in my posts. And he has a point, it’s my nature to be the fixer in most situations. But I’ve learned that there are limits and saying no is something I need to do more – even if it’s just to doing the dishes.

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