Stress less, learn to say No!

June 14, 2010 No Comments


Quote of the Day

“Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.” - Jane Wagner


365 Days to a Balanced Life – Day 14

While I was stressing about how to read 573 emails and ease back into blogging after my week of fun and frolic in Sin City, I received a phone call from my friend Donna inviting us to dinner on Saturday night.  We had been talking about getting together for months, given that I have not seen their new place in the two years that they have lived there.  As I quickly ran through the complicated week ahead in my mind;  heading to Victoria  tomorrow for my daughter Cathy’s University Graduation (12 hour roundtrip), back here that night for  business meetings the following two days, helping my 14 year old wrap up exam week and driving to and from the end of school parties,  back to the Island on Friday (another 12  hour roundtrip) to visit my ailing mother in the nursing home (that guilty pressure on me every day), working the concession stand at my daughter’s softball tournament over the week-end as well as trying to watch her games (have not seen one this year) all while nursing an infection I picked up in Vegas. And last but not least, what about my commitment to research, writing and LIVING A BALANCED LIFE?????????????

What is wrong with me that I even considered saying yes?  As pleasurable as it would be to see my friends, I finally said no thank you I can’t do it this weekend.  This is huuuuuge for me.  I have always been afraid to say no to people for fear of letting them down.  If I say no I usually feel so guilty.  Often I spend more time overcompensating and explaining why I said no, than I would have if I had just said yes in the first place.  This is definitely something I am working on and you know what?  It is very liberating. 

My change came out of necessity this spring.  We found ourselves living in a house with our two adult children and one significant other (temporarily, but it started 6 months ago with one, then two and finally a third new roommate).  Given that we downsized when the two older kids moved out, it is cozy.    There are also a lot of requests for rides, extra work, cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping etc.  Not to mention the lack of down time and most precious of all Q U I E T time.  I made a decision that I was going to enjoy our time together as much as I could, knowing it wouldn’t last forever (or could it?????).  At the same time I was going to be guilt free when I drew a line in the sand.  “No, I’m not driving down the hill for the fourth time today, take a taxi”.  It does take practice but after awhile you will wonder why you didn’t say that lovely little word more often in the past.

I have come to realize that most of our stress comes from irrational feelings and decisions, as well as not being able to accept the reality of whatever the stress du jour is.    My new approach is to analyze the situation, if I can’t do anything about it I now try to either change my perspective on it or just accept it often muttering  under my breath “this too shall pass”.

When I start to stress about a “what is” in life, I remind myself of Eckhart Tolle’s question “What do you think of reality?”  “I am completely against it”

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