Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just say 'no'...

If you have ever perused those articles titled something like: '16 steps to simplify your life' or 'how to de-stress your life in 8 easy steps' you will inevitable come across the suggestion: Just say no.

'Just say no' meaning learn it's ok to just say no to situations, projects or events that will end up overburdening your schedule, your mind, your stress level and everything in between. We are an over-booked society where even our kids don't have down time because they are too busy going to school, followed by a rushed dinner, then off to some sort of practice, then homework every single day. Not to mention, some parents sign their kids up for multiple teams/extra-cirricular activities so they are always doing this schedule all year round - then weekends are taken up with games, recitals, classes...too much, is too much.

I do not have kids but over the past year or two I have finally come to terms with the fact that I have a low stress threshold. Something's gotta give. So, (reflecting back on the past year +) after the hub-bub of wedding planning, on top of Relay for Life team planning, followed by 'Fair-time' at work...I decided that for one year, I would say 'No' to anything extra and just try to simplify my schedule and my to-do list, with the exception of a new job. You see, I have the habit of coming up with these "great ideas" which throws me head-long into a project or situation that requires more focus, attention, time and patience than I usually have. But I just can't say no... (hence why a '2 hour scarf' knitting pattern will literally take me 9 months - theres other things to do!)

The first time I went against this 'say no' thing was when I started this blog  :) (Negative 1 point for the project already...)

Then the new job I got turned out to be a full-time position with an hour and a half round-trip commute. Now I really needed all the extra time and sleep I could afford. *On a side note, to all you ladies out there who work full time, I salute you. And for all you out there working full time with more than a hour and a half round-trip commute...I think you're crazy...*

I had interviewed for a part time position as event monitor 9 months ago and was offered the position! Way exciting to me, side work in events! Buuuuut...I had to say no....with some helpful prompting of my husband. Sigh...score one for me...

Plus I decided at the beginning of this that since I was cleaning out my schedule and to-do list, I may as well clean out the house. Cull all the extra crud that makes messes around the house. I got through a bunch of stuff, but still...I'm surrounded by mess and have no energy to deal with it. This sucks.

Also getting cleaned up is my email inbox. I'm down to 530 messages in it! Woo hoo! (Down from over 1,600 just a couple months ago.)

Now, I'm still trying to get used to this 'full-time work' business with a little commuting and all of a sudden my nights and weekends are getting filled with things to do! But I have to have a life, right?? What's a girl to do? I crave my me time and my sleep...but I like to have money to buy groceries with...sigh, I guess there's NO compromise. Hehe, that counts as a no, right? >:)

So, I'm jumping back on the bandwagon, shuffling through my schedule, my finances, and my clutter in an attempt to simplify my life. I picture myself being as happy as those centenarians I've seen featured in the Blue Zones books and videos. Happy, lower stress, healthy, simple living. These people often live in the hills without much! All my stuff makes me stressed and I refuse to be a hoarder - not just in items around my house, but in items clogging up my mental space.

So far, in the few opportunities I have actually done this, I feel both freed, and like a failure. In this society being busy is GOOD! Being over-busy = BETTER! But I have resolved to (as the Duggers say it) live like no onelse now, so that I can live like no onelse later.

How bout you? Does this sound like something you need in your own life? Or do you think this is just plain laziness?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post Diane!

    I think that people take pride in how busy they are. They almost wear it as a badge of honor. I think it is great that you are taking a step back and analyzing what you are going to do this year, but don't be too hard on yourself if you let a few activities creep in. I don't look at your blog being a point counted against you because you didn't say no to it. I look at it as a way for you to document your thoughts. As long as you are enjoying posting & sharing your thoughts that's great. It is when you feel like you "HAVE" to post that it is adding stress to your life.

    I think you are doing a great job at finding a good balance!