Recently, a friend asked my husband if my family wanted to attend a concert. When he told me about the offer, I immediately started calculating the costs — both financially and emotionally.
What about the two babies? A late night concert doesn’t sounds like fun with a toddler and an 8 month old. The tickets are $20 a piece. Sure, we have a little money, but do we really want to “waste” it on a concert? Yeah, I know we hardly splurge…but still.
Before the conversation even happened my mind was saying “No, no, no, and no.”
But then something happened mid-excuse. It was almost divine. I said, “Yes. Why not?” There were a thousand reasons to say “no,” but when I thought about the experience and the created memory of to sharing such a rare event it changed my point of view.
Way to go, me! Score one for fun mom and wife!
But lessons rarely come without a review. I got mine, not but three days later when my husband came home with circus tickets. You know the ones…that say “FREE CHILD ADMISSION” with purchase of adult ticket. Tickets start at only $9…yeah right!
“Let’s go to the circus!” he said.
Again, my immediate reaction was “No, it’s a scam. Those tickets ARE NOT only $9. We have six children.” Yada, yada, yada. But again, almost divinely, I caught myself mid-no.
“What is wrong with me?” I asked my husband. “Twice you’ve asked me to do something fun and I’ve said ‘no’ — almost by default.”
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I looked at him and said, “Yes. Let’s take the kids to the circus. That sounds like fun!”
Not having tons of money and having so many responsibilities as a parent has put a damper on my “fun-o-meter.” After dressing up to go to the premier of the Hunger Games, I have come to realized that I’ve allowed my discipline and my responsibilities to steal my enjoyment of life.
There are people that don’t have this problem — in fact, they might have the OPPOSITE problem. If that is you, this post is not for you. This post is meant for those, like me, who have become too uptight. Too rigid in their spending habits. Too much in control. Those who are too lean on the “fun” scale.
It’s like the the old saying: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
If we only say “yes” to work, we will become stagnant — stagnant in our marriage, stagnant in our parenting, stagnant in our friendships, and stagnant in our faith. Sometimes saying “yes” to something means saying “no” to something else. You might say “no” to a new pair of shoes because you are saving for that trip to Disneyland (I’m looking at you Jackie).
I am not saying to always say “yes” to every little thing, but when you say “no” just make sure you aren’t saying “no” for the wrong reasons. Make sure you are saying “yes” to things that will grow your enjoyment of life without diminishing your responsibilities.
And stop saying “no” to things that will increase your joy without sacrificing much else.
Your “yes” is a powerful tool…as is your “no.” Use them wisely!