Oh, Yes- You've Discovered My Nemesis

I have a hard time saying no. In fact, it is 12:30 am right now, and I am still awake making invitations, reply cards, and "we're registered at" inserts for my brother-in-law and his fiancee. Why? Because of yes. Because it slips through my lips when I least expect it.

"Yes" has me up hours past my bedtime, my head pounding and my fingers ink-stained and paper-cut. "Yes" also has me scheduled to babysit another child on top of my own tomorrow (I am going to need a REALLY BIG cup of coffee).

"Yes" scheduled me to go to a book club, a writing club, and a concert on Saturday even though I'm supposed to be working in my yard (for yet another "yes": hosting the reception for the wedding I mentioned earlier).

"Yes" does this to me a lot. Me and "yes"... we have lifelong issues. I'm the kind of girl who would do someone else's homework for them in grade school--but not because I was afraid...just because I couldn't say no. I can't seem to help it. It's always been a struggle for me.

You'd think considering all the trouble "yes" gets me in to, I'd learn to say it a little less. But I won't. And here's why:

"Yes" made a very stressed bride-to-be stop crying after she opened up her "wedding invitations" and discovered "Save the Date" cards in the wrong colors with only 4 weeks to go until the wedding.

"Yes" gives my very good friend a chance to spend time alone with her husband on their anniversary, which is an especially large commodity considering they work opposite shifts and have only one day off together, anyway.

"Yes" is feeding my desire to read, write, and listen to good music on Saturday, and it's giving me a chance to rest my perma-dirty feet for a day. Grass doesn't grow that fast. I can take a day off.

For all the reasons I have to dislike my inability to say no, I have equal reasons to remember why I like to say "yes." Even when it isn't ideal for me personally, I really, truly, enjoy helping other people. This isn't to say I shouldn't curb my desire for "yes" sometimes; I need a break from it about as much as I need a break from anything else that I love.

Tomorrow, when I give my soon-to-be sister in law these invitations, I'm guessing she's going to ask for help addressing all of them. And, despite my desire to burn the next wedding invitation I get in the mail, you know what I'll say.



TKW said...

Ah, you have a good heart. And now I know who to contact the next time I need someone to help me move. :)

AmandaRaeShelton said...

You do have a good heart. I agree with TKW. And I appreciate you more than I can say and probably more than I show.

I am glad that you have said yes to the writing. That "yes" is for you. If you have to choose one thing to do on Saturday, if you can't do them all, pick the one that's for you. You are a gifted writer and you should embrace that and pursue it.

P.S. I hope Timmy treats you well. Thank you!!!

C (Kid Things) said...

You are so much nicer than me. Whenever someone asks her to do something she always says yes, even when she doesn't want to. She says she just can't say no. Sure you can, I say. I have no problem doing it. No no no, as I laugh at her. I have been known to say yes now and then, too, though.

Amber said...

I know what you mean. I have had to say no because of health issues and other things but when I can say yes to service, it really makes my day. There is something about helping another person that makes me feel so good. It's kind of addictive, huh?

Corinne said...

I'm glad you're saying yes, you're showing us how to be more open hearted, by finding the good in the hard yes's :)
(and a writing group? that sounds phenomenal!) said...

Yes til we drop? I think a lot of us can relate to that trouble setting the limit for ourselves, not wanting to let others down. Still, it's people like you with hearts in the right place who find the energy for so much... which will certainly be helping out TKW at her next move (I'll be napping—I'm not that nice). :)

Terry Castle said...

I love this post. You get happiness helping others. So do I. Just remember not to forget about your own needs. And I know some of those are being met by saying YES. I get it.

It all gets easier as you age. I don't know why. It just does.

Rebecca S. Mullen said...

I struggle with this same thing and I enjoy that you point out the two faces of Yes: that it makes you tired and that it brings you the happiness of deeper relationships.

Life is a balancing act. I'm always teetering this way and that, extending myself and contracting to refill my tank.

ck said...

Though you may not see it, I bet you're inspiring those around you to say "yes" too.

Heather said...

Here from momalom :) See, I'm more of a no person, often. As in boundaries, and realism, and not overcommitting. And though I like the simplicity of my life, I admire your zest, and your generosity. I need more of that.

MidnightCafe said...

I like this because it's a different message from the one our culture seems to be sending out all the time - that we need to learn to say no and stop running ourselves ragged for other people. Sometimes it's ok to run ourselves ragged for others, especially if it's what we're choosing to do. I think it's a different story if we stop being able to say yes to the people who are supposed to be priorities in our lives because we're saying yes to random everyone. Good for you for being so open-hearted!

Sarah said...

Your willingness to say yes is actually quite inspiring. And that you are able to avoid seeing it as a burden in many instances, and instead as a gift.

I hope the people in your life appreciate this for all that it's worth...a LOT!