Guiltlessly NO! 

Do you? Do you say no to things, completely (or almost) guilt free? I used to be in the Say Yes to Everything! camp. And it was stressful. For me. And usually ONLY for me. Over extending and putting unnecessary pressure and stress on myself, just so I wouldn’t have to say that dreaded word…. And if I did have to say no, I had to have a mega super important reason why. So I could justify the No….

Ridiculous….  Right?! 

Ridiculous because the recipient of the No doesn’t really need to know the why or the why not, nor need understand your choice. 

So I had a little pep talk to myself (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this?!) and took my own advice. And I started saying Guiltlessly No! when I saw red flags for me and/or for the rest of my family. 

So I have said Guiltlessly No! to a few kids parties that were going to stretch out a fun day to a really long and tiring day/night, or we had overlapping commitments. I have said Guiltlessly No! to volunteering for a few school projects, one big one being the biannual carnival. I have said Guiltlessly No! to family events, especially ones that really don’t suit our routines come Sunday afternoon/evening.  I have said Guiltlessly No! to some recent girls nights out, which are usually great and fun and good therapy for the soul, however they also impact everyone else in my family. Probably the biggest Guiltlessly No! I have said is to the Clowns going to our school carnival, endless cues and crowds and Clowns who weren’t really keen to take part in their class performances (all not compulsory) meant we chose to miss it this year. 

And everyone is still OK!  

Do you know what? Life around the Big Top is calmer and a little less hectic for all my/our Guiltlessly No! calls. And I am really happy about that and I can see the Clowns and Marc are too.  Slower weekends mean more productive Clowns during the week. We are getting more little projects started (and finished!) around the house.  Monday mornings are not so hit and miss now. 

I have stopped feeling the need to explain my invitation declines. But this was hard in the beginning!! I have hardly any problem saying no to something that I know immediately is going to mean me running around like a crazy person trying to fit everything and everyone in.  And if I’m not sure, or want to check with Marc first, I can happily and comfortably state this to the person and get back to them with a response. Before, I would have committed to the thing without hesitation and without thinking it through first. And then just made it work. Somehow.  Crazy, I know! 

Saying Yes! to commitments and people has also become easier. We now have clearer priorities, workable boundaries and windows of time to play with (hello Google synced calendars!!). Happily Saying Yes! has been an unexpected byproduct of my Guiltlessly No! project. 

Guiltlessly No! has made a big, positive difference for us. Do you think it would help your family too? 

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