I am not a huge fan of making New Year Resolutions. Mainly because I don’t keep them. However this year my resolution is to say NO. What? Am I serious or have I lost my mind? As a busy Mom, Wife, and Blogger I was FORCED to slow down in September. As you know I recently had my 2nd open heart surgery and did really well as far as recovery. In fact other than waiting for my sternum to fully heal I am back to “normal”. In fact I was back to blogging and even wrote an article for Gluten Free Living Magazine one week post op. What? Seriously.
However what I learned from the entire experience is that I need to take more time for myself, family and friends and that it is OK to say NO. Yep, you heard that right! So don’t be surprised if you ask me to do something and I say NO (thank you). I am Southern after all so I will try my best to follow up with a thank you.
I have always been a “super” Mom. Up, up and away and to the next obligation. What is funny is that when I found out that I was having coronary artery blockage my cardiologist told me to reduce my stress and avoid ALL stressful situations until I was able to have my surgery (it was not emergency surgery). I of course co-hosted a conference for our readers 4 days later. I honestly can say that that was NOT a stressful day for me. All of the hard work had already been done and it was a great day. However from that day forward I cleared my calender until year end.
We took a fall break trip to Orlando and I spent as much time with my family and friends that I could fit in. After surgery I literally had NOTHING on my calendar except for my regular weekly visits from Shelley. It was AMAZING! As a result I made a decision for 2014 – it is OK to say NO (thank you).
What I learned from my second open heart surgery is that I don’t want to be so busy that I can’t stop and smell the roses or that I chose to have a commitment versus spend time with those I love. Life is simply to short. This is something Shelley and I agree on and talk about often. I honestly grew closer to my parents, my husband, my son and Shelley during this time of my life. I would never think this pre-op but I am thankful that I had to have my bypass surgery again. WHAT? Yep, you are reading this correctly. Not only do I feel 110% better with more energy I really grew closer to my family and friends through this process. I learned who was really there for me when I needed them and I learned that life is too short.
Why am I sharing this with you? In hopes that I can help just one other busy Mom who feels stretched into a 100 directions that it is OK to say NO. You don’t have to be on every committee, volunteer at school weekly, be room Mom, PTO President, serve as the Girl Scout Troop Leader, make treats for every holiday, cook dinner, wash the clothes, have an immaculate house, run carpool and your kids don’t have to be in 10 activities each. Sometimes less is more.
My New Year’s resolution is really quite simple. It is OK to say NO (thank you). You can remove stress from your life which will in turn help your health and your family life. So if you ask me to do something and I say NO (thank you) don’t take it personally. It may be a combination of turning 40 and surviving my 2nd open heart surgery but 2014 is the year that I take control of my calendar and start saying NO (thank you).
Who is with me – it is time to say NO (thank you).
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