Saying “no” so that we can say “yes”

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Alright ladies, it’s official – I now have 16 whole hours each week without my littles.  {I can barely STAND it!!!}

It’s bittersweet, this is true, AND… I must say – this momma is really really happy about it.

It really couldn’t have come at a better time – I was at the tail END of my ever-lovin’ rope last weekend.  All I wanted and needed was a BREAK!!!!!  I even started crying one night because I was so. tired. of being. a mom.

With that said, I have a TON of items that I want for us to discuss here on the blog this Fall that I’ve just been storing up in my head all summer long.  So many, that I’m going to have to organize my thoughts or else I’ll be ALL over the place.

Since we are all transitioning from summer to fall, for today, I thought I’d talk about a little project I’m working on.  It’s a very small project and one you might want to take on yourself as you reorganize your life after a summer of chaos. (Or was I the only one living in complete and total chaos this summer?!)

Do not fear, ladies, this isn’t a big project.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite and it was all inspired by this podcast.

It’s called – a yes/no list.

In effect, it’s me deciding what I’m going to say “yes” to and what I”m going to say “no” to.  Because again, I only have these 16 hours of completely free time.  So I want to maximize as much as possible.  (To be clear, the yes/no list isn’t just so I will maximize my alone time, it’s really to fully live every day and make time for the things I really want and need to do.)

Honestly, I consider this to be essential when it comes to self-care which is something I harp on a LOT in my groups.  We are all incredibly busy and when we are in the thick of this process of restoration, whether we are separated, divorced, or remain married – self-care is CRITICAL.

Along with that self-care, it’s critical that we learn how to say “no”. As a very sweet and sassy and oh-so-wise woman in one of my past groups would always say, “no, no, no, no, no…”.  She had it down!

Just to give you a flavor of what is on my list – here are a couple of items in the “yes” category:

  • Exercising 4 times a week.
  • Reserving Friday mornings as a date morning with Jason (this is a new thing that we are starting this week – I’m just hoping and praying we can keep from fighting… why is it that we tend to fight when we go on dates?!).
  • Waking up early so that I can have a little quiet time before the boys start to rumble and roar.

But I can’t do these things unless I say “no” to some other things.  So here are some of the things on my “no” list:

  • Facebook (total time robber and makes me feel like the biggest loser after spending any amount of time on there).
  • Not working on the weekends.
  • Hustling with friends that aren’t that interested in me (I realize that hustle has a very negative connotation and thus I find it fitting for the things we do that we don’t need to do anymore!)
  • Limiting my email time to only 2-3 time blocks per week (’cause I think we could email forev and forev if we allowed ourselves to!).

I’d LURVE for you to join me in creating a yes/no list so that you have more time for the things you want {and need} to do and also so that you have clarity about the things it’s really okay to say “no” to.

It is SO hard to say no.  And it’s too early to tell if this yes/no list will help me say no with confidence.  But I have to tell you, I already feel more empowered as I look over my list and continue to add to it as the days tick by.

Would love for you to join me!  And I’d also love to hear – is it hard for you to say “no” to the things that you really don’t speak to your heart?  If that’s the case, know that boundaries might also be hard for you.  That’s a topic I want us to really dive into this fall, so stay tuned.

xo – Shelley



5 thoughts on “Saying “no” so that we can say “yes”

  1. Michelle

    September 12, 2017  |  12:29 pm

    With my baby boy starting his senior year, my time with him is less and less. The “Empty Nest” does not come overnight, it come gradually as they start to spread their wings of independence.

    I want to say “yes’ to a date morning for breakfast with my son once a week. We are close but this is the year of “lasts” for me since his brother and sister are 36 and 38. I have been doing the school thing since 1982.
    I want to say “yes” to some dedicated sewing time alone just for me. I want to make quilts for my three grandkids by Christmas. I need to release my creative spirit. It has been stifled for far too long as I have focused on raising my son and working.

    I will have to say “no” to Facebook time as well so I can use that time to clean the house making time for the mom and son dates. It really is a time robber.
    I will have to say “no” to the tv time. It seems to be another time robber that we as a family have gotten too sucked into. My husband has agreed that we need to cut that cable cord.

  2. Tracy B

    September 13, 2017  |  10:24 am

    Loving the yes/no list –

    Here goes:

    -Being brave and saying how I feel about something the first time
    -Tabata class 2x/week to improve my running
    -Spending intentional time with each kiddo looking them in the eye and listening fully

    -More then 1 volunteer job for the year at school
    -Running all the time, but loving my walks as well (with my husband are the best)

    • Shelley Martinkus

      September 14, 2017  |  05:06 pm

      okay…what is Tabata?? Thanks for sharing your list! yay!!!

  3. SLM

    September 14, 2017  |  02:28 am

    This is my list
    YES to reading for pleasure. I have been in school for the past few years completing my degree. I am taking a break and want to read just for the joy and pleasure of reading.
    YES to daily walking.
    YES to a bible study.
    YES to developing authentic relationship. After D-day and in the years that have followed I have seen several “friends” in a very different light. Many of those “friendships” have deteriorated. I am learning that sometimes that is for the best. But I do miss having a social life.
    YES to personal growth and continued healing. I have been sort of pigeon holed while I completed my education and have not had the time or energy to completely heal (if there ever is such a thing) and grow.
    NO to overtime at work although I feel a strong push to repay for the time I have taken off (My degree requirements called for an internship with required me to use A LOT of vacation time. But it was MY TIME. I EARNED IT.) I am the most senior person in my department, I should be LAST on the list for OT.
    NO to negative people, this includes family. I get to choose who and how I spend my time. Before D-Day I planned all the family events and often felt like I HAD TO. Well I have not for the last 3 years and no one took up the slack. I have determined that having a “close” family is not worth the personal sacrifices of having to deal with the negative issues many of the family members bring with them. Same goes for friendships.

    NO TO MAKE UP, HAIR DYE, and UNCOMFORTABLE CLOTHES. I am not a girly girl and for a long time I wore make up, colored my grey, wore dresses and dress shoes…WELL I am just not that person. Make up make my face feel like it can’t breathe. I do not like the time and money wasted on hair dye….my grey hair seems to bother others more and me. And I like jeans and a t-shirt or dress pants and a nice shirt. Life is to short to me uncomfortable. Yes I think make up does make my eyes stand out more. YES I feel older when I look in the mirror and my hair is showing all the grey (this TRIPLED after D-day) but why am I conforming to the idea that a younger or more attractive appearance makes someone “better”. I am just as smart, funny, caring, loving, and worthy clean faced, grey headed, and in jeans as I am with my face covered in make up, hair covered in dye and feet hurting because of the shoes I am wearing.

    I am sure that there are other things that I could name. But this is the short list.

  4. Erin

    September 22, 2017  |  12:18 pm

    Great post! I love reading them so so so much. This one comes as a perfect time. You seem to have a knack for that:) I was talking with my mom (who lives out of town and does not know about any of the infidelity) and telling her it’s hard to not be so busy. She asked what I could cut out. I told her that I have cut out everything I can. I’m not involved in our church aside from attendance. We don’t volunteer on a consistent basis. the kids are not in after school activities (much to my 6 year old’s chagrin) and aside from working a full time job and taking care of kids and house, I’m tired…that is not including time given to restoration and healing. We have your “Kitchen Conovs” program (which we love!…but not love in warm fuzzies way…love in a “this is not always comfortable to talk about, but it’s necessary that we do & the oneness built is worth it kinda way), but that has taken a back seat to oh…sleep. Ha! I’m going to think about ways I can say “no”. I loved the simple idea of “no to FB”. I feel so unproductive, uncreative, and boring after being on there….and yet I go back. Numbing out anyone? So, to sum this rather lengthy reply up… I’m going to sit down tonight, maybe over an adult beverage, put on my big girl pants (read: comfy sweat pants) and love on myself by making an effort to take more intentional ownership over my time. Thanks for all you and Jason do!! XO! Erin

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