Seven tips to “No” thyself

English: Gnothi seauton (Know thyself). Edited...

This past week, I’ve been torturing…err…teaching my students about quotations and punctuation. Today, I had the great privilege of hearing a sermon that inspired today’s blog. On top of all that, I managed to get some “me” time. I threw all three into the blender — wishing for some tequila! — and came up with tips to “No” thyself.

This morning’s sermon was about taking time for yourself in the midst of being ultra-popular. You know those days, right? Those are the days when EVERYONE wants a piece of you or your time, and all you want to have is a little peace. My personal joke is that my name and number must be on the bathroom wall somewhere. This past week was certainly filled with days of the semi-joyful chaos that accompanies the start of new classes. Coupled with all the child-related dramas of skinned body parts and sibling rivalry, it’s been a fairly demanding week– enough that I awoke today with a splitting headache.

To paraphrase my priest, who paraphrased another priest that she knew (here’s the English quotations torture influence!), I needed some time to say “no.” Our priest spoke of the need, just when the emergencies pile up and you feel like you want to scream “STOP,” to take a minute– or two, or thirty — to breathe, reflect, pray, and let the world wait for a little bit. The problems will still be there when you are re-charged and ready to handle them again.

Today, in an effort to “no” myself, I put on my stereo headphones to listen to some good music but kept getting interrupted by little-girl problems. So I tried to lie down, thinking that maybe some rest would help my aching head, but again was interrupted continually. So I finally put on my helmet and went for a bike ride alone. For the most part, the only sound, aside from the occasional purr of passing cars, was my labored breathing.  When I got home, I settled the girls with a favorite movie  and managed to finally get the nap I needed. Ahhhhh. The headache abated enough for me to eat by the time dinner rolled around, everyone was calm, and the day became more peaceful.

So here are the tips, fresh from the blender:

  1. If you are so important that the emergencies find you, you are also important enough to say “no” for a little while to become whole enough to solve them.
  2. “Me” time is not optional, especially for ultra-busy people.
  3. If people love you enough to seek your guidance, they will also love you enough to let you rest.
  4. If said people do not allow you to say “no”, something had better be on the verge of imminent destruction
  5. You are worth the “no” that you give other people — really and truly.
  6. If people do not respect your “no,” then they are also not worth your guidance (the only exception being tip #4)
  7. Only the best people have the permission to say “no.” (If you don’t think you’re one, look in the mirror– you’ll find that “best person” staring back at you.)

This week, practice saying “no” every so often. Tequila is optional.



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