Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for NO

It seems like one of the very first words children learn is NO.
Maybe because they hear it over and over. Mommy doesn't want little baby to eat the dog food or chew on rocks or climb into the dishwasher or run out into the street.
Throughout life we hear NO a lot.
NO, you can't have ice-cream; it will spoil your dinner.
NO, you can't have a pony; mommy and daddy don't have the time, the money, the space, or the patience to take care of a pony and besides, you'll grow out of it in a few years anyway.
NO, you can't go to the movies with your friends; you haven't done the dishes or taken out the trash.
NO, you can't hang out with Billy and Bob and Scooter because they're pot heads and what kind of a name is Scooter anyway?
NO, I won't pay for your college; this is the time where you need to grow up and take care of yourself--you're an adult now.
NO, you can't borrow money from us because your credit score is non-existent.
NO, you can't have time off work; you don't get accrue enough PTO and besides you're our best employee.

Okay, so none of these scenarios have anything to do with me...mostly because I got the ice-cream and the pony and my friends never went to the movies, and I hung out with whoever I wanted (except NOT the pot heads and no one named Scooter)... :)

One problem I used to have, but am getting better at now, is saying NO.
NO playing on the internet all evening.
Telling someone NO when they ask you to hang out, but really you just need personal time.
NO, I can't play because I have to go to bed early and I need to work on my novel.
NO I will not come in to work today because I am sick dammit.

But, what's even harder for me isn't saying NO. It's saying YES.
YES I will go on a hike right after work and enjoy the sun.
YES I will soak in a hot bath and read an entire book.
YES I'm writing all the blog posts for the week I'll be hiking in the Grand Canyon.
YES my book will be done by June 13th and YES I'm working on it right now.
Say, YES to going to bed on time.
YES to taking a friend out to lunch.
YES to a weekend dinner date.
YES let's rearrange the house so we feel more comfortable living in it...

Sometimes it's important to say NO to some of the "pressing" things in life so we can say YES to the things that really matter. One thing I've been thinking about a lot is work. I don't think I am a work-a-holic or anything, but I do think that I'm just not cut out for 40 hours a week in an office sifting through files, writing reports, editing manuscripts, compiling how-to guides. Summer will be better because I'll be outside, but I really think that there is so much more to life than work and money. I'm learning to say NO to all the working and money making so I can say YES to my health, my relationships, my writing. For now, I still have my day job (and I will until at least the end of this summer--if something doesn't go horribly wrong), but who knows what will come after that. Maybe I'll find my passion in delivering pizzas part-time, hiking, writing on my novel, and sipping tea in the rocking chair. I guess I'll have to work the summer and wait and see.

What do you say NO to? Or YES? Are there things you wish you'd say NO to? Or YES?

Write on!


  1. My sister's first word was "No." She's really good at saying it to things she doesn't care about or want; I still need some more practice with that. But I'm getting better! Mostly, I try to say "Yes" though. I love this!

    1. I agree that Yes is a better--that way it stays positive and you're saying yes to the important things, but it also seems that with every yes there has got to be a no to something some way or another.

      thanks for reading and commenting :)