Say, No, to One Person a Week

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There is always something new to deal with, but you have to keep moving forward steadily and carefully.  Lately, I  have learned how to juggle a few things at a time.  I honestly have never been great at multi-tasking.  I even had a rule where I used to refuse to do more than one thing  a day.  I know that sounds crazy to some people, but you have to know yourself.  Let me clarify.  When I say one thing, I mean one sizable event a day.  If I plan to attend a luncheon in the morning, I am not going to attend a dance show that same evening.  I need time to breathe, reflect, write, or just sit down and have a cup of hot tea.


Sometimes you have  to say,  “No, I’m sorry, I’m not available, but thank you so much for the invitation.”  Before one of my closest friends invites me to something, she asks laughing, “Oh, are you already doing something that day?”  She knows me. She knows my limitations and respects how I am, even though she and I are complete opposites.  She owns a dance studio and teaches high school, so her days and evenings are always full!  I would just fall out from mere exhaustion, and I would probably lose my mind.  You have to know you.


For ten years, I tutored and taught dance in the evenings and went to school a few days a week during the day.  I also tutored most of the day on Saturdays.  I went strong with that schedule for a decade and then I fizzled out.  I ended up in the emergency room.  I had no idea how tired I was.  Now, I refuse to get that tired.  Besides, I have to be honest.  I am older now.  I am not claiming frailty or Alzheimer’s, but I have to be aware of my physical and mental limitations, and I have to make my family and closest friends aware of them, too. For example, I can’t do 8 pirouettes across the floor, a  jete, and back handspring.  Nor can I study from 11pm till 5am.  I’m okay with that, though.  The things I must accomplish now require more wisdom than physical and mental stamina.


Some folks may not understand because they can go go go around the clock.  My husband and daughter can get four hours of sleep and keep on moving.  My son and I need our rest or we turn into people you really would not like to deal with.  My family knows, respects, and understands this, and it is not something you can fully explain to people outside your circle.  And folks will try to work you to death for their benefit!  Sometimes you have to say no to some things, and you don’t have to give an explanation.  Remember, you’re grown!  You’ve been waiting for this moment your entire childhood!  If someone asks you to do something that is not right for you, pull out your grown card.  It is more than okay to say, “No.”


Great exercise for folks who are being pulled in multiple directions by multiple people:  Say, “No,” to one person a week.  Let me know how you make out ;  )











4 Responses

  1. Susan Kurz says:

    Shawn, you are definitely right. I’ve only recently learned the value of saying “no” to everything everybody asks me to do. I know some people who really just want to do everything in one day, and I’m definitely going to recommend they read this. Some people are good at multi-tasking, but I’ve finally accepted it’s not one of my talents.

  2. Tanya says:

    Great advice that I need to take! Thanks!

  3. shawnrjones says:

    You’re welcome, but you have a lot more stamina than most. I wish I could be a marathon runner. I find running much much more strenuous than dancing. You run for miles. Most routines last 5 min or less lol

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