Shedding my “Yes” skin
It’s starting. I’ve said my first official “Noes” to a handful of opportunities that have come up in the past week (and yes, noes is the plural of no. So weird I know). Time to sign up for Summer Camps…nope. Want to volunteer on the (take your pick) committee at the school next year? Sorry, can’t. Can you watch my dog while we go to Hawaii in August? He’s cute but no. Let’s all sign up a for a Fun Run in September. No can do. I’m even getting mail saying it’s time to renew our Bon Appetit and Wired subscriptions. No and No.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel damn good to say no to so much stuff being that I am typically a yes woman. Maybe it’s a me thing, maybe a parent thing, maybe just a being an adult thing. But seriously don’t you ever just feel like you’re going to snap and you just want to say NO to everyone and everything for the next week and do nothing but nap. And eat breakfast sandwiches and binge watch Outlander. Again. Except for the Wentworth Prison scene (ack!) but I digress.
Even when you think you are a very self-aware yes woman who has got it under control; it’s not until you get to say no that you realize how overcommitted and overscheduled you actually were. And you’re probably thinking, hey ding dong, there’s a reaaaaaaally simple two letter word spelled N-O. Learn it. Let’s say it together, noooooooooooo. And you’re right. And I do say no. I made a deal with myself years ago that I won’t say yes to things that I truly don’t want to do or that my heart isn’t into. There’s nothing worse than saying yes two months in advance but then when the time comes, you are dreading your commitment and try to think of *any* excuse to get out of it. You all know this feeling, I know you do! This deal with myself also has the added benefit that when I do say yes, people know I mean it.
I’ve got the normal, personal yesses in my own Alyssa life. These ones are easier to say no to but I think it’s also important to have some yesses that are just for you. Yes I want to meet for happy hour, yes I want a girls night, yes I want to celebrate your birthday, yes I want to do something just for me. But when the yesses are purely to benefit my kids and their lovely friends (school volunteer, carpools, soccer teams, play dates, etc.) it’s much harder to say no. So you say mini yesses at first and sometimes they grow into HUGE yesses later. Year after year commitment yesses. Maybe it’s out of obligation sometimes, maybe I truly care about the cause, or maybe it’s just my personality to say yes. It’s probably a mix of all three. Either way, the yesses have a way of creeping up on you as the years roll on and before you know it, you’ve gone from a Kim Kardashian cry face to a full on Britney Spears shaved head meltdown, minus the weird umbrella accessory. Again, I digress.
Believe me, I realize I am trading all of those yesses for a whole different set of stresses. I’m not entering into this trip with my head in the sand. It’s going to be a hard year but hopefully the most rewarding type of hard. And right now the noes I get to say have been very refreshing and freeing. I already feel like there is breathing room in our schedule for the next 5 months until we depart. I’m looking forward to finishing up all my current obligations with a bang and then being able to fully embrace all the craziness that lies ahead. I’m also hoping that I learn and remember that all the yesses don’t make me a better person or a better mom or even make my kids any happier. I think the real happiness lies in the moderation and balance of it all. I think that’s my take away for now. And that I need a fat nap.