I didn’t think I would get to blog today because of all the everything else. I hit my goal of at least 500 words on the outline front, so here I am.
I’ve been really good about simplifying and selectively cutting back on outside commitments so I can really focus on my family and writing, especially now that Mike is going to start traveling. I need to be around for the boys. I want to be around for the boys.
Mike and I purposely don’t overwhelm our kids with extra curricular activities because we feel the boys should have down time with us. They get one sport and one instrument. For Alex, he’s going to play basketball later this year, takes piano lessons and altar serves. I know. That’s three, but I don’t really count altar serving as an extra curricular activity. Gabriel just decided he would try Cub Scouts and hasn’t come to a decision on anything else yet. For us, that’s totally ok.
That’s not what every family chooses to do and I get that. Do what works for you, I always say.
I am finding that saying ‘no’ to people gets some interesting responses. The most shocking to me is “Why not?” Usually, I respond quickly explaining myself, but why should I have to? I’m an adult and I said no. That’s really all there should be to it. I’m not rude about it either. I always say, “I’m sorry, I really can’t commit to that this year.” That should be the end of it, right? Wrong.
I’ve been questioned about whether I was sure I was making the right decision to said requests. I was asked repeatedly over a few days, by different people whether I had changed my mind or for clarification. (I know, right?!)
There’s nothing wrong with cutting back. In fact, isn’t that the best thing to do? Cut back, make more time for family, prayer and yourself? Mike calls it taking a step back and taking a personal inventory. We joke about it when he says that because it seems hokey, but for real, isn’t that what we all need to do at one time or other in our lives? That’s just trying to make the right decision so you avoid burnout, or maybe it’s just coming to a realization about who you are and what you can handle.
If I don’t participate in certain activities, does that make me a less faithful Catholic? Hmmm, that’s an interesting theory. Is that how I am perceived? As not “on fire for my faith”. It’s a shame that that’s the first conclusion some people have come to. Granted, I’ve had some prayer life problems of the dry variety, but that doesn’t meant that I’m considering a lukewarm path to my faith! Come on, people!
It’s almost as if the thought is, by all means, cut back, but not on what I’m asking of you because what I need is SO important. These reactions make me feel as if I’m only as good as the last thing I volunteered for. (Yep, I said it.) The assumption is that I will always say yes, and that’s not really fair. I can’t and won’t always say yes. I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to say yes. Moreover, people shouldn’t try to get my husband to get me to say yes. (What? Yes! That happened too.)
As a full time working mother and wife, my plate is pretty full. I can’t give what I don’t have. What I can give I will, and right now, my boys (Mike and God included) get all I have. Sorry, there’ll be no blood from this stone.
I still attend mass, pray daily, and focus on the few things I have consciously, thoughtfully and prayerfully chosen to keep working toward. I ticked all the boxes in a meaningful way and it’s unfortunate that others don’t get that it’s really not about them or their important thing that they desperately need me for. I’m not even that important guys. All this means, is that other people are now given the opportunity to step up, try something new, or find a new way of completing a task that maybe shouldn’t be on auto pilot.
How about you? What happens when you say no?