Saying “No” Creates Time To Say “Yes”

homeschool children pe and fine motor collage

One of my goals for this school year was to find more activities for Jack, especially ones outside the house and with other kids his age.  During the past few months we were meeting with a group of kids at a nature center near out house.  Either due to the set up or the personalities of others involved, Jack was not doing well there.  He dreaded going and I dreaded having to take him.

Getting to the place of saying “No, we will not do it again after the New Year” was harder for me than I thought.  My stubborn inner voice said, “Don’t give up; you can find a way to help him work through this and have fun.”  My logical voice said, “Don’t add more stress to your life and his if you do not have to.  Move on and find other activities.”  The problem was, I had been looking and found none.

Over this past weekend I rechecked some online group I am a part of and found a few activities.  Additionally, the museum were we have a membership is having activities in coordination with half-days of their local public school system, a different one than George attends so I was not aware of these days.  These are things I checked with last Fall, but found nothing available.  We had also stopped doing a few local things (story time, for example) due to other pulls on our time.  Now that I no longer have large household projects requiring my attention for days, I knew I could dedicate a few days a month to other activities.  If I had not said “no” to the nature center, I would never have sought out other activities to which I could say “yes”.

On Monday, Jack and I sat down to review the various offerings for this  month.  Taking this all one month at a time will allow us to not be committed to more than we feel able to do, as well as allow us to say “no” to what is not working.  Not only did we talk about the activities, but also the driving times involved.  Being in the car is never a fun things, so knowing that would be a required part of doing these activities is an important detail.

We also talked about the fact that several of these happen on consecutive says during the same week.  That would mean having to do more school work on the other days that week.

There were at least two activities that we had to say “no” to, due to a conflict with something else.  Since we had been talking about planning and what was happening on which days, Jack took it all in stride.  He was sad but handled it very normally, knowing that there were other things we could do.

pumpkin on vine

Looking ahead, personally, there are things I am wanting to say “Yes” to in the upcoming months.  This also means saying “No”.  I find this can be hard for a variety of reasons – it has become a habit to do things this way, “everyone else is doing it, so I must need to also”, it is something I found to have worked in the past, or even just pure laziness.

Some of the things I am wanting to say “Yes” to this year including:

  • Getting back to gardening, canning, and a road-side produce stand
  • Continue, and grow, another source of income
  • Spending more time outside
  • Clearing out the 10+ years of stuff, especially paperwork, from the house
  • Read at least two books a month
  • Post more gardening related items on the blog and less random stuff (unless you all tell me different)

In order to do these things, I need to say “No” to other things:

  • Reading a book only because it was Free
  • Putting off household chores till “later”
  • Watching hours of t.v. at night
  • Staying up late
  • Using my morning hours, my most productive time of the day, to check the computer (email, FB, etc.)
  • Not planning for down times when we are out as a family (travel in the car, while the kids play on computers at the library, etc.)

Several of these No’s have been hanging around out of my own laziness.  That is a personal battle I need to face and challenge daily.  I have seen myself taking steps and know that momentum begets momentum.  Even one step means the next step will be easier … if I keep going.  If I stop, it is harder to go again.  Those are the times I look for tiny steps to take and soon find myself taking larger steps.

What is something you have said “No” to so that you could say “Yes” to something else?  Is there something you need to let go but have not done yet?


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