Thursday, January 10, 2013

A No For A Yes


I love this quote paired with the saying I've heard that goes something like, "A no to one thing is a yes to something else."   

I've spent time since I've read this quote, and since the beginning of the new year, pondering what my yes's and no's will be this year.  I DO know this-when I move at a slower pace, when I am not rushing, when I am calm and organized and purposeful, when I don't have too much on my plate, I enjoy life.  

I am a much much better mother to my children when I say no to the crazy pace of the world, no to all the noise that seeps into my brain from the technology that has a way of sucking us all in-and yes to slower days, yes to less outside commitments, yes to less stuff in our home, yes to being present.  Being present means being aware-not someplace else in my brain, not being distracted by a phone or an email, or doing too many things at once, or thinking about what I need to do or say next. 

It all sounds so easy-simplicity, but in reality it's much more difficult.  It means making conscious decisions that require self-discipline, it means letting go of guilt when using the words "No, thanks", and it requires constant reminders and resets in my brain to not respond to the hectic, materialistic, competitive world that can bombard me if I let it.   

29 comments:

  1. So true! You always seem to know exactly what I'm thinking.

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  2. Thanks for giving words to my thoughts!
    Cheers,

    Jeanneke.

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  3. Beautifully said Sarah and something Kenny and I were just talking about the other night. There are SO many constant distractions that make it difficult to really be present with our kids. We are both working on "being present" this year. Well. I'm working on it. And I told Kenny he is working on it too. I'm the kind of person who sets new years goals for me along with goals for everyone else in my family. Ha! ;)

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  5. My big yes is yes to more acts of charity, to have the psychological bias of being pleasant. (Is there any special reason that simplicIIty is spelled that way??

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  6. Finally at 40, I am able to say no without guilt about my decision. I call it the southern good girl guilt! Always doing everything for everyone and then suddenly, you realize you have lost yourself along the way. Thank you for the gentle reminder this morning!

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  7. I truly need to work on that guilt. And on more "no, thanks".
    Thank you for this reminder.

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  8. THANK YOU THANK YOU for that post. I set my new years goals to simplify and be present and reading your post just made my morning.
    Thanks for your wonderful notes and inspiration. I love it.
    Rachel

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  9. Well said! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We really need to give ourselves permission to say 'no' with guilt or explanation. I remember hearing on an episode of Oprah that just because our phone rings we don't have to answer it. We are in control of our choices and what we let into our world. It just isn't always easy! Have a wonderful day!

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  10. I have four kids under seven and I was just asked to teach childrens church part time... I knew I should say no but the nagging guilt!

    Thank you for reminding me that a no to them is a yes to my kids well being.

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  11. Oops...my comment should have said 'without guilt or explanation'! I guess I am just so used to having the guilt!!

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  12. I spent hours in the middle of last night pondering the very same thing. I feel a tidal wave coming at me and need to be ready to say "No, thanks!"

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  13. I feel the exact same way. I'm pretty introverted and a homebody-so when I start doing too much outside of the house I get kind of anxious and frazzled. It's taken me a long time to be okay with this: my first priorities are to maintain my emotional health, my home, my family, my marriage. I also think of my life in seasons. When my kids are older and I have more time/emotional energy that may be the time for more volunteering, more activities. Right now, I'm in the season of caring for my family.

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  14. Thank you for the reminder!! My oldest is Patrick's age and is getting to where most of her friends and cousins are involved in sooooo many activities and she is involved in none. Some days I feel so guilty about it all but due to money constraints and my personal need to have a slow pace where I'm not running here and there, it's just not going to happen. So, thanks for the reminder that it's okay to say "no" and not follow the crowd. I'm sure she will still turn out fine...please tell me she will turn out fine....:)

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  15. agreed and its hard with a big family I never want to feel like they are 'short changed' because we are a bigger family.
    just don't stop blogging, you're my inspirations :)

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  16. I absolutely love this, and it is so true! I have been very strong this past year in not spending as much...especially after Christmas with all those sales going on! I mean seriously...do I really need another set of ornaments and a whole new tree? Not!

    Thanks for sharing, and hope all is well with the family this new year!

    xo

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  17. So agree. I listen to so many moms complain about the busyness... not spending enough family time. I guess sometimes it's necessary, but more often, just a result of not saying no to good things.

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  18. Exactly! What a wonderful reminder and affirmation.

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  19. This post really spoke to me. I love your words and how you expressed them...thank you so much.
    Blessings,
    Cathy

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  20. Great quote--thanks for sharing. I haven't read his book, yet. A good friend of mine once included in her Christmas letter a list of the books she did read and books that she chose not to read or books she didn't finish. It was so telling of what she values! Similarly our time commitments are equally informative to ourselves of what is important. I can't help of your 40 bags post and wonder if your "discard" piles would be equally telling of what you value, Sarah.

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  21. Sarah- don't know if you will read this but wanted to comment that I have been at my wits end with my 2 year old - my youngest son- and I sat down last night and read several of your parenting posts and got some perspective. I calmed down, grew up and realized that I need to be a better parent to him. The fact that my other children "never did" pretty much all the crazy things he does, isn't his fault! And it isn't mine. And I need to stop blaming both of us. I am happy to report I got on the floor and played with him and never once raised my voice today and he behaved as good as he ever have and we finally had a great day! Thanks for your blog!

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  22. I love this post - thank you! And I would also love to see more pics of that precious little girl. She makes my day!! (this is officially a hint to post some Janey pics pronto)

    Blessings to you!

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  23. This really hits home for me. Just last week I blogged about "simplicity" being my focus word for 2013. "Simplicity Parenting" had a major impact on my parenting style over the last few years.

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  24. This is why I read your blog, Sarah. I too prefer a simple and joyful life. You expressed it quite succinctly in your entry today. Less is more...right? Less clutter, less complications, less drama gives us more time and energy to spend on the people we love and the activities that re-new our spirits. :)

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  25. Great post, Sarah. Recently our 6-year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and we've had to let go of some things in order to fit it in. Crazy, huh. I am loving the quietness and resolve to keep our lives on the path towards simplicity this year while we learn how to manage his care. It is critically important that I be and remain present.

    PS ~ How's that mattress working out for you?! ;) xoxo

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