Saying “No” To Good Things


Saying "No" To Good ThingsI flaked on my post this month. 

I’ve been writing for the Chattanooga Moms for four years and it’s been such an absolute joy for me. Only a couple of months after I moved to Chattanooga, the opportunity to write with a group of women in my new city came up and I was thrilled for the chance to dig in. I will confess that as other moms have left the group I’ve thought to myself “Geez, it’s only one post a month.”

Now that I am homeschooling four children, launching my own fitness business, and taking on a new leadership role with Echelon, that one post a month really is overwhelming. I’ve known for a while that I probably needed to say goodbye, but I just didn’t want to. 

Which got me thinking…

The old saying “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back” is filled with such truth. It’s not that one post a month is all that much, but the one post, a prescription that didn’t get refilled, a message from work, and a messy living room piled up — and broke me. 

So I took a look at my day, my week, my month, and looked for the things that I could change. Refilling the prescription? That was the pharmacy’s fault, but there are systems I can put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The message from work? I can keep my phone on do not disturb until I am ready to deal with work issues. The messy living room? I can make sure the boys clean it up before it sends me into fits of rage. Writing a monthly post for Chattanooga Moms? It’s something that brought me joy, but with new demands, it’s now bringing stress. Greg McKeown in “Essentialism” says, “If it’s not a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.”

So, is it a clear yes? 

Those things you do — because you used to love them or you think you should do them or because someone else expects you to do them — aren’t things you HAVE to keep doing. Ask yourself: if this opportunity came to me for the first time today, would I take it? Are you excited to tackle it? Is it a CLEAR yes? If you answered “no” to any of those, let it go. 

I’m convinced that we don’t end up frazzled, overly busy, or sobbing in the shower because of the big things. The little things pile up and we are afraid to get rid of them until they break us. Those little things were cool once — maybe they still are — but what are they costing you now?

Change is hard, especially when that change involves letting something go, but just imagine trying to climb a mountain while carrying all your belongings on your back. Sure, your stuff is great, but it’ll just slow you down.  

Don’t be afraid to try new things, knowing that if they don’t work out or become something different in the future, you are brave enough to let them go. Set your priorities and stick with the things that line up with what you value most. Go on adventures. Rest. Laugh. 

Keep in touch.

Jama Oliver (Instagram)