A few weeks back, my family and I watched the Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man” and I really enjoyed it. I mentioned that I liked the idea of saying yes more often. I thought I might try it. Of course Tom thought that was a great idea! But, I think he was missing the point. J
So, I decided that I would try to say ‘Yes’ more often. Well… I didn’t make it long before it just plain got on my nerves! I quickly realized that I already say ‘Yes’ to everyone EXCEPT for me. I noticed that I truly think I can be all things to all people. And, that alone is what makes me exhausted at the end of the day. How in the world do you ever really accomplish anything, when you’re trying to do it all? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a workaholic, and I readily admit it. AND… I LOVE doing things for other people. So this is not a complaint. But, I realized that I always say YES to work/clients, and rarely have any time left to say YES to my family and friends, and I’m exhausted! And, you know what? My clients all have families, and lives, and they ALL completely understand that I do too.
Last week, a good friend died. At the funeral, I heard beautiful testimonies about how he was always there to say ‘Yes’ when people needed him. I sat there thinking about all the times I had said ‘No’ to the things that really mattered, just because I had said already said ‘Yes’ to too many things for that day already. I got to thinking about how I wanted to be remembered. Did I want clients at my funeral saying how much they appreciated that I really worked hard for them? Or… did I want to have my family say that I made them laugh and feel loved and appreciated?
I quickly figured out that the only way to say ‘Yes’ more often is to become good at saying ‘No’. I do have to turn down some extra work every now and then. And, I have to remember that I need balance. I can’t play all the time, otherwise we can’t eat. And, I can’t work all the time either, because I become ineffective and GROUCHY! BUT… I am terrible at saying ‘No’. I mean, I can say it, but I feel REALLY guilty! Who knew?
So, I decided that I would really focus on saying ‘Yes’ to the right things. This meant saying ‘Yes’ to going to bed at a decent hour. And ‘Yes’ to really turning work off for a few hours every night. That gave me more time to say ‘Yes’ to fun things, or things that required me to step outside my comfort zone. So, what do I do about saying NO?
My mantra of “I know that I can AND should do more” is still in place. But, I have decided to become a ‘Maybe Woman’. I am considering how everything fits into my schedule. Before I try to throw one more thing into the day, I think about whether it will make me enjoy the other things less. I need to leave some down time so that I can say ‘Yes’ to the things that truly matter. I do love my job, and my clients really matter to me. But, I love my family, too. I know that I have set a good example to my girls about how hard work pays off. But, they need to see me take time out to enjoy the good things we work for too.
Guess what??? Not one of my clients thinks this is wrong! Ha! They all understand the need for balance. I guess I’m the only one that didn’t get it. And, even though I’m still not good at saying ‘NO’, I have become quite good at ‘Maybe’. And saying ‘Maybe’ just leaves me more room to say ‘Yes’ to the things that really matter. I think I’m going to like being a ‘Maybe Woman” much better than I like being a ‘Yes Man!’