The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

September 25, 2013

Saying ‘No’: A hard lesson to learn

Are you overdoing? Think about it.

Is your plate too full? Can you not see the forest for the trees? Do you hardly have time to think? Do you feel like you need to come up for air?  Do any of these apply to you? If they do, then this article is for you/us.

For people who like to keep busy, it is very, very hard to say no. We just automatically raise our hand when someone needs a volunteer. In fact, we have heard it said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Too often this is true. Busy people just keep “filling their plates” until finally a plate breaks and we have to back off from some of our activities.

Busy people do all those things because they want to do them. We like being busy. We thrive on committees and decorating and sorting and calling people. We get a “high” from all the activities and running around. We like to delve into ideas and execute them. We pride ourselves on being part of some project.

But there comes a time when our bodies and our minds rebel, and we have to start saying “no” to some of the creative things we once did. We have to decide which is more important — our good works or our good health. I have come to that time in my life. I am having to put projects on hold until Jim is feeling better and not requiring so much care. And I am needing longer to take care of me, also. I have actually declined jobs I would have loved to do.  

In my mind, for a brief moment, I thought when I retired I would have a lot of time on my hands. I thought the days would drag on and be empty. Boy, was I wrong! I have never been so busy, nor so occupied, nor so “in demand.” I seem to have little time for anything and just do very basic cleaning and cooking.  However, as I said before, I have had to back off and regroup and put my priorities in order.

In the past few years, I have been privileged to be a caregiver for my husband of 44 years, Jim, who does need help with many things because of numerous medical problems. He is so appreciative and kind and courteous that it is pure joy to take care of him. He is not demanding and so patient with me as I learn to help him.

Still, it is difficult to tell people we are unable to do something or to attend a ceremony. Just this past week, we had to decline an appearance at Vance Air Force Base to honor MIA/POW’s.

Jim has seen what they have endured and always feels he wants to pay them a special tribute, but this year we had to decline. Dr. Whitson, Jim’s wonderful doctor and traveling companion, told us, “It is OK to say ‘No,’” but it is a hard lesson to learn.  

It just goes against my grain to have to turn down requests for assistance or invitations. But the time has come. I just never imagined that I would be in a position to have to decline fun projects that I love to do, like the St. Gregory’s Bazaar that is held this November. It was such a joy to work side by side with these wonderful ladies who work so hard and are dedicated to others and have so much fun doing it. For those who are still able to give lots of time to organizations and worthwhile activities, then count your blessings and go for it — and enjoy them while you can.

When we have reached the stage where there is s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o much to do and not enough time to accomplish those tasks, then it is time to back off and prioritize and decide what is most important — our health and sanity, or  menial jobs around the house. It is surprising how needless it is to wash kitchen cabinets and walls every week, or to iron shirts that don’t need ironing, or cook meals that nobody wants or needs to eat. There are more important things in life to do than to use our energies with pointless jobs.  

When I was attending “Red Hatters,” the thing I liked most was we were not over-organized. Whoever wished to be a hostess for next time, simply volunteered and found a convenient place to meet to eat, and called the members and let them know. We had no programs, we had no officers. We just had fun and visited and ate at different places each month.  We did not worry about committees and rules. We celebrated life and living and just had fun. We wore red hats and purple dresses to show that we had “arrived,” to the point of expressing independent thinking.  

I have the utmost respect for those who still carry on the work of committees and projects. I spent many years doing just that and I loved every moment of it. But it is time to hang up my hat and pass the work on to someone with more energy and less family responsibilities.

I will change my direction and stay busy, but in another way. It is OK to say no.

For those days when you are stressed  with too many things to do (we all have  those days from time to time), put this stew in the crock pot in the morning and come home to supper ready. Or enjoy the aroma of it cooking as you go about your house chores.

Text Only
Enid Features
  • Vculek, Verba.jpg Vculek, 90

    Verba Jane Vculek will celebrate her 90th birthday with an open house from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the Marshall Alumni Hall on Main Street. Cards may be sent to 25199 N. Rockwell Ave., Marshall, OK 73056.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • peggy goodrich.jpg What's in a name?

    This dessert has a strange name and may deter you, but it is easy to make and fun this time of year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crabbs, Thelma.jpg Crabbs, 102

    Thelma L. Crabbs will celebrate her 102nd birthday with family. Cards may be sent to Greenbrier Assisted Living, 1217 E. Garriott, Room 102, Enid, OK 73701.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jessica Nickels Sun. Life mug.jpg Extension helped start school lunch program

    Nutrition is constantly a hot topic, and we as Extension educators are always educating consumers on new research as it is available.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Datebook for 4/20/14

    April 19, 2014

  • Judy rupp.jpg Wear shades and save your eyesight

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • peggy goodrich.jpg Are you hungry for knowledge?

    I am so pleased that Enid and other cities are offering “Lifelong Learning.” It consists of classes on current events, art appreciation, psychology, our government and other interesting topics.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • denny.krick.80th.jpg Krick, 80

    Dr. Denny Krick will celebrate his 80th birthday in Branson, Mo., from April 17-21. Cards may be sent to 2610 Indian Dr., Enid, OK 73703.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mary.Oller.90th.jpg Oller, 90

    Mary Oller will celebrate her 90th birthday with family on Saturday, April 19. Cards may be sent to 3219 W. Cherokee, Enid, OK 73703.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Menus for 4/14/14

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body
House Ads
Comics