If you don’t follow Jen Hatmaker on social media, you should. She is hilarious! She speaks so much truth, inspiration, and she’s downright hysterical.
At the beginning of January, she posted something on her Facebook page that has changed the way I have been thinking ever since. She writes–
As you move into 2016 hoping for a saner schedule that prioritizes your actual life and keeps you focused on the things that matter the most, let me share the decision-making filter my agent Curtis always gives me:
“If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no.”
So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes?
No thank you. I am unable to commit to that this year. Thank you so much for asking, but any new yes I give right now means a no to my family and sanity. I am so flattered you asked and count on my prayers, but I am at my maximum bandwidth right now. I appreciate your work so much, but I’ve already committed my time and energy this year. I’ve loved being a part of this, but I am no longer able to continue. We are aggressively focused on x, y, and z this year, so as a family we’ve agreed on no new commitments. This is what I can give but won’t be able to do more right now.
Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.
I find myself saying this in my head when I make decisions now. Is it a HELL YES? If not, it’s a no. It has to be.
I am becoming selfish with my evenings with the kids. I only get Brayden for 4ish hours between after school and bedtime every day and that is time I cherish. Yes, we go do other things and life doesn’t stop, but I am choosy about what we do at the end of the day. I think this might be the most focused I have ever been, and not just on surviving.
I am making the most of the time I have with my family. I am saying yes to the things that work for us as a family. Just as simply, saying no to the things that don’t. Is it fun? Not always. Brandon used to be notorious for just saying yes to anyone and anything. After we had a few conversations about it, and how little time we really get with the kids (which will only be less as they get older and involved more in school), I see him saying no a little more often as well. We still say yes to friends and fun things, just maybe not as much as we used to.
Is it freeing?
I am maximizing the time I have for the things I love– baking with Kenley after school, writing, photography, coming up with the next DIY project and still making time for friends and family. It gives us a little more freedom to be a family, to dream about our future, and to focus in on what is happening right before our eyes.
Are you a yes person? Do you need to be more of a no person? How do you find the balance?