I am really good at saying no. My kids will tell you that it is often my default answer.
That stems from my belief that saying yes too quickly gets me in over my head. I do what I need to do to protect my white space, my down time, my sanity. That is what I tell myself, anyway.
But the truth is that sometimes I simply don’t want to go the library. It is too much work to entertain guests. I am not interested in baking cookies, doing an art project, going swimming, or playing a board game (especially since my kids can’t play without fighting). So I say no.
Lately, however, I have been wondering if I am saying no to life by saying no to so many things. I know that creating messes creates memories, but I am still likely to resist disorder. My intuition tells me that playing games and doing activities with my kids is good for family bonding, but I often choose to ignore those inconvenient thoughts.
What am I missing by trying to live in a controlled and orderly universe, independent of serendipitous adventure?
This summer will be unlike any other because it marks my last four weeks with Jordan at home. Consequently, it is past time for me to change my default answer from no to yes.
The duration of the summer will be an experiment of sorts. I plan to find out what will happen when I say yes to as many requests as possible, even the inconvenient ones that put me outside of my comfort zone.
Will it change my perspective? Will it allow me to live more fully? Will it strengthen my relationships? Will it encourage me to let my guard down and enjoy the moment? Or will it stress me out and turn me into a crazy woman?
I guess we will find out.
To prevent this social experiment from getting way out of control, I do have a couple of ground rules:
- I will not say yes to anything we cannot afford or that will take my kids away from too much family time. (No two-week long summer camps, kids…sorry. Summer is my time with you.)
- I will not take my kids out for ice cream every time they ask. ( That will be a daily request; I assure you.)
- I will not say yes to anything that goes against my moral or parental standards or beliefs. (Sorry, kids, sleepovers are still out.)
I gotta protect my wallet, my family time, and our collective waistlines, ya know?!? But otherwise, I am going to practice saying yes.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: the thought of saying yes to so many things makes me a tad bit anxious. I am a little worried about turning into a crazy stress monster.
However, I believe there could be life-altering potential in the word yes, so I must give it a try.
Let’s raise our glasses to a summer of yes.
I encourage you to keep coming back for updates on my experiment. It is bound to be interesting, at the very least. 🙂