No is a complete sentence. No. I have a hard time saying it. I’m a people pleaser and I will sacrifice myself to please others. I have spent years learning to correct this behavior and have made progress, but certainly not perfection. How do I pick and choose the things I want to do, the things I need to do and the things I can let go?
Guilt used to be the decision maker for me and still is sometimes. But I have listened to wise counsel and matured a little. I wanted people to like me and if I did what they wanted, they did. It took a long time to realize they came to me first because I was an easy target. When I started saying no, it was fine. I have not lost one friend because I said no.
I remember one afternoon many years ago, I was out mowing the lawn and was fuming because my ex-husband was watching TV. I called my dear friend very angry and she told me to stop mowing. I didn’t HAVE to cut the grass I was choosing to do it. She went on to explain that I could mow the lawn later, when I felt more up to it. This concept was completely new to me. I was full of resentment because my ex was doing what was best for him, resting. And I was not doing what was best for me. Once that sunk into my thick skull, my resentment toward him was gone. I was actually able to finish mowing the lawn with a better attitude. Once I got to the core of the resentment, I understood my part in it and was able to let it go.
I also tend to take on other’s responsibilities. I get knee deep in situations that have nothing to do with me. My husband John taught me a lesson on this one. He told me early in our marriage that if I take on a project, it is mine unless we agree, in advance, that he will help. I was to have no illusion that he would be roped into helping when I bit off more than I could chew. And he stuck to his word. Now when I think about a project, I consider how hard it is, how long it will take and will I need assistance. This has taught me that I cannot volunteer him and I cannot be volunteered by someone else for a project I didn’t sign up for. I respect John very much for teaching me this lesson.
If I could go to yoga five days a week, I would. And I would love to go to Bible study, take golf lessons, play pool, volunteer at church, help the needy, go shopping with friends, dig in my garden and any other thing you can think of. All of these things are good things and too much of a good thing is still too much. I wish I could learn to pick and choose a few things and enjoy them. I usually take on too much, have a slight melt down, let go of everything and start over. I want to do it all. There are so many things I love doing and so many things I still want to try.
I don’t have a Bucket List either and I don’t know anyone who admits they have one. Maybe that can be another blog, another good thing to do. Here we go again!