Letting Go and Saying No

Friday, July 3rd, 2009 • 7 Comments on Letting Go and Saying No

I feel a bit of weight has been lifted off my shoulders these days. Or maybe the weight is just shifting to my midsection.  In any case, I no longer feel like I’m suffocating and that’s a very nice feeling indeed.

I’ve been saying no the past few days.  It’s a word I’m not particularly fond of, but oddly enough I find myself embracing it right now.  Normally, “No” smacks of negativity and failure and inability.  Lately, the word brings peace.  After beating myself up for my lack of productivity lately, I decided to take the advice of some very wise writers I know.  So, no more beating myself up and no more taking on projects I’m not passionate about.  Just say no, right?

Oh, but it’s hard.  Hard to say no after I’ve said yes and hard to say no the first time around.

I also said no to teaching in the fall.  I could have done it.  I could have, but I don’t need to.  More importantly, I don’t want to.  I don’t want to be worried about my due date coinciding with essays and grades.  I don’t want to feel like I need to drag my computer to the hospital when I deliver just so I don’t miss a frantic student’s e-mail.  I don’t want to give less than 100% to teaching and wonder if it affected my students’ grades.  I’ve already wondered that about this past semester when I know I gave them everything I could.  So, I’m taking the fall semester off from teaching and maybe the spring semester, too.

After much consideration and some disappointment, I’m also saying no to the RWA conference.  That was the hardest one to say no to, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the most of it.  But it was my doctor who made that decision for me when he said on Monday he didn’t want me to travel for at least the next few weeks. 

Which brings me to the catalyst that has brought “No” so easily to my lips.  Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I have resisted the label “high risk” (and the more dire label “very high risk”).  I have mostly felt great and I have laughed at this notion that just because I’m a certain age and have a few health issues that I should be acting like the sky if falling.  And yet… I think I finally recognize that label for what it is: a warning.  I’m dealing with some unexplained (and inconsistent) high blood pressure right now and while I still feel pretty good 90% of the time, I know that I can’t take it for granted that I will feel this good for the next 5ish months.

So, I’m saying no for right now to the things I’m not passionate about so I can say yes to the things that matter.  It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I’m learning it.

Posted by Kristina in Life, Musings
  • Erobintica says:

    I concur. And creating a child is hard work – so nobody will think you a slacker – at least nobody who’s ever been through that. Take care of yourself and when you look back you’ll be glad you said no a few times.

  • danielle de santiago says:

    ha..like nikki already said..its such a hard job to gro a person! i m glad you embrace the word no now…when i was younger i also had problems saying no..i felt like..if i say no people wouldnt like me anymore…i felt like i was mean or/and lazy…but no is good..no can save you..no can give you peace..no is a great aphrodisiac as well..grin

    anyway..take as much time as you need for the little boy..grin  and turn down as many projects as you want..the ones you keep will still be awsome…i mean..notrhing really changes ..you are pregnant..you are goimg to be a mother..but you still are kristina wright…

  • Nikki says:

    I’m so glad I can read someone else going through the same things, K!

    It’s a hard lesson for sure. I really struggle not to feel bad for the fact that I can’t work very well right now. But it feels like everything has gotten softer – including my brain!

    So – what I meant to say was – well done. Congratulations on saying ‘no’. It’s absolutely the right thing to do at the moment.

  • Good for you.  No is not a bad word.  It just needs to be used judiciously.

  • Emerald says:

    Oh goodness, congratulations Kristina.  I really empathize with feeling like it feels so hard to say “no,” especially after one has already proposed or offered “yes.”  And I also see a true strength in it, beyond the chattering mind’s (I mean no offense by that or at all that it would be personally unique to you — on the contrary, I mean it in the most general sense applicable to all of us) commentary about obligation, competence, etc.  To be in touch with something deeper than that, which strikes me as what this post seemed to indicate, seems truly moving to me. 

    Further, as I finished reading this post I was feeling not only a contact as such but a trust, and I feel moved even more by that.  A trusting of that connection, even in the face of the mind’s possibly intensifying frenzy of historical perceptions, strikes me as such a profound demonstration of strength and courage. 

    Again, Kristina — congratulations.  I truly feel the strength, peace, and trust of this post, and I appreciate it both personally for you and on a universal level.  I support you fully. 

    Best to you.

  • Just wanted to say- have only just read your baby blog. And it was a lovely thing to read it backwards. To start with things going well for you and then reading back over all your hopes and doubts, while all the time knowing that so many of your fears were never realised.

    Many hugs, mah dahlink. I hope things continue to go well for you. You keep looking after yourself and babby.

    Charlotte xxx

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks so much to all of you.  I had (am still having) those bouts of guilt and second-guessing over my nay saying, but it helps to read such positive and encouraging comments on the wisdom of saying no. 

    Not that I could say no to any of you, of course! wink

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.