Why I am Learning to Say No: While keeping promises to myself.

Okay, friends, I’m going off the beaten path today and am venturing into something more personal than computer apps and classroom advice. So, I begin with a question. Has the universe ever pointed you in a very blatant direction, in one single day, that is so obvious it seems impossible? Riddle me this and stay along for the brief summary of Lauren’s July 2nd, 2018 or skip down to when I ridiculously vow a promise to myself for this Summer. Recently, I started my new job, and let’s just say it is going to be a big change, but hopefully, it will allow my life a lot of room for margin and growth. I agreed initially to start this new work on the 9th of July, so next Monday, until well, things got complicated. So I found myself leaving my job as a Teacher on a Wednesday and somehow because I’m a “yes” girl, starting this gig on a Thursday. This is absolutely not a poor reflection on my new boss or position, they are in need, and I’m sure it will pay off, because well – I don’t need to tell you all how important the first month at a job is right? Or apparently, explain the excuses I make at the expense of myself.

But so right now, I’m doing the nitty-gritty, back end, wrap up the school year in a Technology Office stuff. This entails scoping out confusing new processes for next year, scraping names off of iPads, and cleaning them for the next grade to take over and well – it’s mildly monotonous. Couple this with the fact that in Maine it is 95 degrees today and will be all week, and I was planning on spending this time at my family’s lake house, it’s not ideal.

But I am ALL about transitions and doing things when it comes to working right. When I said “yes” to this job though, everyone I know, and I mean everyone, kept emphasizing “Now Lauren, don’t do what you always do and get so over-invested and extra involved too fast..” It’s what I do. So I’m doing it, and I am “happy” to, I think. But I, of course, wanted to pass the time today and was missing out on some good summer lake reading, so I helped myself to Rachel Hollis’ audiobook of “Girl, Wash Your Face”. And for those of you that haven’t read it and need an awesome Summer read or a pick me up, get it, NOW. If you’re not a reader, or in need, that’s fine, I’ll give you my takeaway briefly from today’s listening of 9 chapters. Whoops.

Ms. Hollis as she’d preferably be referred to, emphasizes the concepts of saying “No” to time-sucks, and advocates for fighting for our dreams even when we are told No. Self-care is evident, but following a path of the Lord and honoring our God Given talents are also messages she pushes in an easy way. Mostly she emphasizes to us all, that we must stop comparing our lives to one another, saying that this often times this requires space, saying no, something I was a little irritated by at first, but came around to. I wanted to say, “Rachel I have to say Yes, it’s a NEW JOB, and I need to impress and make myself valuable.” Instead, I just listened and eventually, agreed.

So I left work and I felt a little moved, and I was thinking about what lists I could make to follow her guidance and what dreams I could achieve if I never let myself off the hook and kept myself accountable as she has guided. My brain reverted to some of that negative self-talk and I began to think about the diets I quit or how much less I’ve gone to the gym lately, and even the manuscripts on my computer that are unprinted (her and I are twins right?). So I drive to the store, buy a Fourth of July outfit, run home and let the dog out, make Josh dinner, and catch the Monday night sermon at my local church because I worked my second job yesterday. I walk in and sing, sit down, and listen and into my ears comes the discussion of establishing Margin, or the space in our life needed to live comfortably and righteously.

Without getting on my pedestal because I’m honestly pretty new to church as well, I just want to say this….today I was told by someone or something to start saying No, twice. And friends, my sweet friends, I’m going to need your help. I’ve had my mother, my co-workers, my boyfriend, and sometimes even my dog when she gives me that adorable look, tell me to start saying No. If you know me, and you’ve done it, and you’re reading this – congratu-fricking-lations. Also, I need to know, how often do you say no to things for good reasons? The kind of reasons that provide you with a quiet day with family, or space to heal your soul? When do you say no, to put you and your mental health first, or your relationship with your Husband, Wife, the Lord, or anyone else above the extra meeting, volunteer time, coffee date, or dare I say it, workout class? How do you know when to do it? How do you know when not to? Does it matter if you offend someone or put them out? I’m going to spend this summer figuring it out.

The other message that Rachel Hollis has really emphasized is not to break promises to yourself. This is so important to me and I vow to you all that I am going to start here today. Not tomorrow, but today. Are you ready? This Summer I will not break this promise. I will say No to things that hurt my self-peace, my body’s well being to function and my heart. I will say No so that I can live with a space of margin financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually. And I will do this for me, and I will most likely need your help. Thank you Universe!

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