Do you ever feel like you are just running from one thing to the next? Running from one meeting to the next, from one sports practice to the next. Running from counseling appointments to therapy sessions to school IEP meetings and the list goes on and on.
This week I was preparing to go to a meeting and was talking to our youngest son. As we were talking, I jokingly asked him if he would like to go to the meeting instead of me. He quickly replied, “No, I’m good,” laughed and walked away without any remorse and as happy as can be. Obviously, I didn’t really want him to take my place in the meeting but I can’t help but think there is so much I can learn from his response.
It can be hard to say “No.” I often have opportunities come across my plate. Some that I need to be at but others that I don’t really need to be at. I often have a twinge of guilt when I turn down an opportunity, especially if it is an opportunity that will help someone else.
In the last year I heard someone say, “Every time you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you are choosing to say ‘no’ to something else.” This really helped me to put things in perspective. It is easy for me to live life and commit to opportunities like I have an endless amount of time and energy.
When I live this way, I find myself completely exhausted, having a minimal amount of quality time with my family and generally not having the bandwidth to focus on the areas that are most important to me.
There will always be things that I have to do. The therapy appointments and things like that that generally have to be done but for everything else, I have begun running it through a filter. I look at how it will impact Sarah’s and my goals for our family and I look at how it will impact our goals with Hope Anew. If it doesn’t align with these goals, then it doesn’t get added to my list. I’m still working on not feeling guilty when I say “No” but it is amazing how much more present I can be for the things that do make it through the filter process!
We talk a lot about “self-care” on this site. Sometimes self-care doesn’t mean doing something to take care of ourselves. Sometimes it means not doing something.
Are you the parent of a child impacted by special needs? What is on your list that can be taken off? What filters can you put in place to determine if an opportunity is something you should or want to be a part of? There will always be opportunities and things to do but there is only one you.
Next time you are presented with an opportunity that doesn’t make it through your filters, feel free to follow the example of my youngest son and say, “No, I’m good.” Walk away without feeling guilty and know that you are doing the right thing for your health and your family.