Joeann Fossland wrote a blog today about conserving your energy and practicing the word "no".
I have gotten much, much better at saying no over the past several years. By learning how to say no I can pick and choose that activities I truly want to do and stop feeling resentful about doing things I felt pressured into because I couldn't say no.
Learning how to say no came after 2 telling remarks, one from my husband, and the other from my then pre-school daughter.
I had the privilege of being able to stay home after the birth of my third child. But transitioning from a corporate environment to days filled with dirty diapers, Barney, and little adult interaction did not go smoothly.
I found myself getting involved with school boards, PTSA, Princeton Newcomers group, editing and writing newsletters, co-chairing the Holiday Boutique that the Women's Club sponsored at my church, St. Charles Borromeo, playing Bunko, and starting up an Oprah Book Club, among other time consuming activities.
All of these activities required endless meetings and countless hours, both during the day and at night.
As I was running out the door one night, leaving my husband, who had just put in his nine plus hours of work, with cranky kids, homework and bath time instructions, he looked at me and said, I thought you wanted to stay home from work so that you could be home with us more?
He was so right, I was out volunteering and doing club activities during the day and night and being as stressed out and resentful as if I were still working full-time, all because I couldn't say no.
The second wake-up call came when my daughter was "interviewed" for a booklet her preschool put together about each child's family and interests. When she was asked, "What Does Mommy Do", she replied, "she goes to meetings all day". I was a raging success as a stay home mother! All because I couldn't say no.
Learning how to apply the brakes and start saying "No" became easier each time I said it. I figured out how many hours a week I was willing to spend volunteering and kept only those evening activities I really enjoyed, like Bunko and a book club. It wasn't always easy, I still remember some of the looks I got when I said "No" and some of the guilt trips when I was asked, but who is going to do it?"
By the way, there is an art to learning how to say no, effectively and with respect, but that's another post.
I have been calmer and happier since then. Time spent with your children and family is short and so sweet. Take a lesson from me, don't let others steal your time.
I have also applied these lessons to my real estate practice. I am not a 24/7 REALTOR, I have no problem saying no to certain requests. Respect my parameters and I'll respect yours.
I know how to say "No".
Tell me how you learned to say "No" for your sake and your family
Are you or is anyone you know considering a move? It would be my pleasure to help you with your real estate needs.
Serving PrincetonBoro, Princeton Township, West Windsor, Montgomery Township, Hillsborough, Hopewell Township, Bridgewater, Lawrenceville, Franklin Township, East Windsor, Kingston, and parts of Middlesex County.
Lisa Ryan, REALTOR®
138 Nassau Street, Princeton NJ 08542
908.420.5706 (C) 609.430.1288 ext.554 (O)