Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I find it interesting how great health advice is really great life advice. A few days ago, there was a Spark email about how to say no when people offer you food that you know isn't good for you. I glanced over it, thinking, eh, I'm great at that. I don't eat meat, so I am very used to asserting myself when it comes to food.
Today I realized I am terrible at saying no to other things. I'm awful at saying no at work, and I just keep taking on more and more tasks. It's not even like my boss would be particularly upset if I said, "I think I need to step back a bit." I just have all this guilt built up about how I need a flexible schedule to help me deal with my daughter's appointments, and wacky religious holidays, and all sorts of nonesense. I can typically give him an idea of my schedule at the beginning of the week, but it switches up a lot. He's great about being understanding, but the results is I just feel guilt, and volunteer to do anything anyone needs.
It also comes up with my family. I'm an expert at saying no to my kid (or at least the idea of no) because I think it is important for her to have boundaries and structure. But my extended family knows I'll do anything. My cousin (who hasn't returned a phone call in over a year) called me today. She's graduating on Sunday, and wants to stay with her boyfriend at my apartment Saturday night. Mind you, she has a place in the same city, she just thinks our place will be more convenient. So I thought about it and said yes, but I needed her in the house by 10pm so that I didn't have to wait up all night, they had to stay fairly quiet to not wake the baby, and my baby and I would likely wake them up when we come downstairs at 6-7am, as the kid needs milk and medicine in the morning.
She responded that it is her last two weeks in the city, and she HAS to go out on Saturday night, and could not possibly get there by 10pm. I thought for a minute. And I said no. At a certain point I need to assert my needs. It's ok to say No. For my physical and mental health, I need to learn no.
I will make this the month of NO.