Q: my schedule is always overbooked. how can i train myself to say no when my knee jerk reaction is to say yes to every request for help and to social events?
A: whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, trying to please everyone by "doing" only brings about exhaustion or bitterness. and that's certainly not the way God calls us to live. God knows your personality intimately because He made you, and He doesn't expect you to be someone you're not. He also knows you need to stop sometimes and rest.
So figure out how many activities a week you are comfortable with, and then consider those "available slots." instead of blindly booking activities simply because they arise, make sure you save the slots in your schedule you need for "sanity time."
some of your stress-inducing situations may be nonnegotiable-such as traveling for your job or keeping up with an energetic toddler. but other activities may be negotiable, such as hosting a wedding shower or chairing a fun fair at your child's school. the crucial question is this: do these negotiable activities stress you out...or energize you? if your blood pressure rises when you even think about the activity, why not take a pass?
no isn't a dirty word-in fact, sometimes it's one of the healthiest things we can say. after all, sometimes we have to say no-even to good things-in order to say yes to the best things. if we're constantly scurrying around like the well known Martha in Luke10:38-42, we won't have time to sit, like Mary, at Jesus' feet.
~Ramona Cramer Tucker
(Today's Christian Woman magazine, Sept. 2004)
so you all know that i struggle with saying no. still. and then, i have these other crappy thoughts like...well...if "they" would just say yes a little more, we could even this out a little bit...they would be a little busier, and I would be a little less busy...aren't i nice? really. wow. how twisted am i? since you have your life balanced and in-order, how about un-balancing it, so i can balance mine. don't you love how i think? ;)
anyway, a challenge for me to think about "scheduling" my weeks ahead of time, and if things come up after my week is "scheduled" i have to say no. i just don't think that will work with me, as i operate on a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of style. i must say, i think i "used" to operate more that way...but not anymore. :)
then. like today. i was at kaden's school helping out for the morning. we are in the process of moving our "old" office into our "new" office, and i am behind on a million other things, but isn't this why i stay at home and mom? so that i can participate in my kids classrooms, and be a "presence" in their school buildings...absolutely. can you tell i am still confused? ;)
regardless, here's to me figuring out how to "operate". Happy Weekend...mk.