There is a person in my life ( we will refer to as "Jane") who is a "yes" girl. Jane says yes to everything. Any event you ask Jane to attend or help out with, she will be there. Any charity that needs help coordinating their holiday drive, Jane will say yes to. Any project or daily task that needs assistance, Jane will say yes to. I can tend to be just like Jane. When someone at work needs help with a task, no matter how big or small, I say yes. When I am asked to attend an event, bunco night, dinner, or trip, my first response is "Yes." I HATE saying no to people. I feel like I am disappointing them. Even with the smallest task... I just feel bad. I hate to deny people of my help, especially if I have the time.
Recently, I have witnessed Jane becoming haggard and tired, exhausted even, all of the time. Stretching herself so thin that she can not even be there for her own family, the people who supposedly matter the most to her, because of her many other commitments.
I also witnessed myself becoming a lot like Jane. Turning down family events or time with friends because I had overcommitted myself at work. Missing church or other events because I had committed to help someone with someone. Skipping multiple mornings of workout because I was so tired I just needed that extra hour of sleep.
I have really made a conscious effort to say no to things. As much as I HATE it, it has really benefitted me. I have had to say no to birthday parties, helping friends or family or extra work commitments, but at the end of the day I have slowly started to reclaim a little bit of sanity. It has been hard to miss out on a few things, but it has been so nice to be able to focus on something without thinking about a million other commitments. Giving someone or something your full attention when you are in that event is SO important. I have found it can actually be really hurtful to people when you commit to hang out with them or help them and you are not fully present.
Saying "no", although very difficult at times, as been very helpful.
P.S. When googling a picture for this post, there are all kinds of hilarious pictures that came up. Like these... (Sorry, I just had to share.)