This I Believe

Lisa - Sweden
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

What is the effect of saying no?

Throughout the whole week I have this busy schedule with school, work, family, friends and sport activities. I run from one thing to another and realise that I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and catch my breath for several hours. It’s not that I’m complaining about it. I earn money, I love my family and I receive decent grades, but sometimes I wish that the day and night contained more hours.

I’m not expecting scientists to change the rhythm of earth and give me 30 hours instead of 24 as a solution to my problem. No, the answer is much easier than that and that is simply to say no. By saying no to work, friends and other activities occasionally I allow myself to do nothing which I need once in a while. Doing nothing can be watching my favourite movie for the umpteenth time, sleeping till noon or taking a walk in the evergreen forest. Actions that permits thinking, reflecting and caring of myself.

When I arrive at home on Saturday night I’m totally whacked. My skin feels like a piece of sandpaper and my legs are heavy as lead. My boyfriend gives me a call and I have to disappoint him once again and tell him that I’m not up for a date tonight. I’m too exhausted. Instead I ended up sleeping the whole night. Nothing bad happened, the world didn’t end and my boyfriend still loves me. He could identify with my situation and didn’t become angry with me.

I know that it’s very hard to say no and it feels like I have to have an excuse or an explanation for saying no. But really, is it necessary? Saying yes is of course a wonderful thing and it makes a lot of people happy and sometimes even myself, but if I’m not able to say no I will end up being burned out when I’m 25. That is not a reality I want to be faced with. It’s not going to be easy to change my way of life and say no more often. On the other hand I hopefully can prevent unnecessary stress by keeping the thought of saying no close at hand.

I believe that if I begin to say no at times I will grow as a person, because I will then have time to reflect over my actions and by doing that I can perform better and accomplish more. This I believe.