It’s totally appropriate that it took me most of November to get around to writing this post. There is so much to do, and it’s a season when I find myself, more than ever, needing to say ‘NO.’
A school friend recently told me she’s saying ‘no’ in November.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Yep. I’m just saying no. To everything. It’s too much,” she explained.
“I’m not going out of my way to keep pleasing others when, in the end, it hurts my family.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
All the commitments, the play dates, the bills, the appointments… that stuff-of-life-that-must-get-done… really does compete with family time. With face time. With quality time. With memories as a family.
And it doesn’t just compete with those things.
Because there are soccer games and the doctor’s appointments and the holiday parties. And the next thing I know, it’s 8pm, and I’ve barely talked to one of my kids.
Intrigued by her confession, I asked my friend to share more.
She said that she and her husband decided, last-minute, to cancel their son’s registration for baseball, a sport he loves and plays every year.
“The fact is, he’s 8, and he’s not going to play major league baseball. I know I sound a little selfish, but I think that’s part of this for me. I need to be more selfish so my kids can slow the hell down.”
I need to be more selfish so my kids can slow down.
“It’s too many nights away. We are done. We need a break.”
We are saying ‘no.’
She went on to say her mother-in-law wanted to schedule 3 Christmas gatherings with the family, because various family members would be in town at different times.
“So, our family needs to come over 3 different times to do the same thing? I had my husband text her to say we could come over once, and that’s all we’re able to do right now.”
The whole idea gave me goosebumps.
Oh, the freedom.
The freedom in saying no, in this ‘yes’ culture of busyness, instant replies and constant over-commitment.
Because, the fact is, the faster I am at replying to your email, the less likely I am to look my child in the eye during the precious 2 hours that I have him home from school before we start the nightly bedtime routine.
The fact is, the better I am at showing up to those PTA meetings, the less likely it is that our family will have any face time at the dinner table this week.
The fact is, the urgent is not that damn urgent.
But the important is always important.
So, I’m joining my friend in saying #NoInNovember.
Sure, the month’s almost done, but isn’t that kind of the irony of it anyway? *wink*
I plan to continue it through the end of the year.
For me, that means spending less time writing, less time on social media, less time out on school nights, and sadly, less time on this blog. It also means fully investing in my #ScreenFreeSunday ritual (which is when I turn off my cell phone on Saturday nights, plop it in a basket in the kitchen and don’t turn it back on until Monday morning), and trying to get the family together for dinner as much as I can.
Protecting the preciousness of this season.
Right now, I’m in a chapter of life when the kids are little.
And these precious moments are slipping through my fingers with every post, text and Instagram story.
Pick a few things to say ‘no’ to, and see how beautiful your world becomes.
What are some things you want to say #NoInNovember to, or for the rest of 2017? Share them in the comments section, or in the post on our Facebook page!