Learning to Say NO!

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Good morning!

Well - I blew it yesterday with my poor parenting and then I fell asleep without setting up my blog post for the Muffin...I have to tell you that this very morning I feel like a complete and utter failure. However, my motto in life is that when I get lemons I will turn them into lemonade. At the end of my blog posts I always say the following to readers: May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, and sunshine! I truly believe that those not so comfortable moments (the lemons) are catalysts for change. They are moments that allow us clarity and opportunity. So, instead of beating myself up this morning, I thought I would share my thoughts...

I am 35 weeks pregnant and had no business taking my 5 and 6 year old to the county fair yesterday. It was 90 degrees in the shade and I should have been sitting home with my feet up. Instead, I spent 5 hours at the fair walking around being uncomfortable. When it was time to go I of course pushed a little harder and let the children go on a few more rides. Unfortunately my generosity was not met with gratitude. I listened to quite a bit of whining on the way to the car AND the entire way home.

Why is it so hard to say no? Why didn't I just stay home and tell the children we can all go next year after their brother is here and mommy feels better?

Similarly, last week I agreed to help coordinate a charity event in town. I wanted to say no, but instead I agreed and then felt like I had too many irons in the fire. My inability to say no seems to be the root cause of most of the stress in my life.

Do you find that as an author you are pulled in too many directions as well? Is it book signings, guest blog posts, social events? Have you learned to say no? How did you learn that important lesson and can you share with us (me)?

Now I'm off to feed calves and help with hay - again....unable to say no...and did I mention the 17 pounds of garden fresh tomatoes I am supposed to turn into salsa and can later today to...Help!!

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children (Carmen 6 and Andre 5), three dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. Crystal and her husband, Mark, are expecting another son at the end of September. You can find Crystal blogging at: http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/


Anonymous said...

I think most of us can identify. Sometimes I simply refuse to engage and get people's hints when they need "someone" to take charge of whatever. I can be amazingly dense when it suits me.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--I come up with a "generic" excuse that I can use, no matter what the request. And by "come up with" I mean fabricate/lie...

For example, tell everyone who is pulling at your time, "I have a deadline with my novel/article/flash fiction piece, and my publisher will kill me if I don't send it in on time."

(By the way, it helps if you don't have to read it off an index card. ;)

Margo Dill said...

I need a group or an intervention. I can't even form the word NO sometimes. ;)

Crystal Otto said...

You all are great! Thank you first for understanding and second for making me laugh.

I needed some hugs today and you were just the gals to give them to me!


Cathy said...

I've been there with my kids too! They just don't appreciate or fully understand the sacrifices we make sometimes. It's funny you would post something about just saying no to some things today! I received a message today asking me to do a favor. It's something I've done before, something I enjoy doing, something that helps the public image of my workplace. That said, it's not my job, I don't get paid for it, I just spent 3 days at the fair with my kids and horses, and my kids start school on Monday. So, I respectfully declined and apologized for not being able to help out. I'm not sure I could lie about not being to help out. I mean, lies tend to get found out eventually, and if we're too busy to handle one more thing, it's really okay to say so!

LuAnn Schindler said...

Crystal, Crystal, Crystal... What are we going to do with you? ;)

It's so hard to say NO. Sometimes I KNOW I take on more than I should, but I also know that I thrive on pressure, so...'Yes' comes out of my mouth too often.

P.S. I didn't plant tomatoes this year. Had 30 plants last year and made a lot of salsa and spaghetti sauce but I just didn't get any planted this year... :(

Crystal Otto said...

LuAnn - I wish you lived closer, I would invite you over and we could make salsa together!!!

The good news is - my next Muffin post is already "in the works" and it's an interview with a publisher. This time I'm going to be super prepared (I hope).

Thank you again to everyone for your support. I always find something on the Muffin!


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