Lifestyle, Miscellaneous

Learning to Say No

I am a busy person. I am a mom. I juggle doctor’s appointments, sports’ practices, religion classes, school events. I am a wife.  I juggle my husband’s sometimes unpredictable schedule and date nights that oftentimes take a back seat to seemingly more urgent needs, like sick kids, work, and cleaning. I am a teacher. I juggle non-stop paperwork, unreasonable expectations from administrators, parents, and students, advise several clubs and in between, lesson plan and grade. In between my whirlwind of a schedule, I sometimes sleep(‘sometimes’ being the key word).

Over the last few months, I have often felt all of these pressures closing in on me, like I am drowning, barely able to keep my head above the water. And just when it seems that I may get through another work week to a weekend that MIGHT provide a small respite from the constant need of my attention, I get the email. Typically with a subject line that says something like, “volunteer opportunity”. When I receive these requests, I get a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I want to give back. I think it’s important to help when you can and don’t miss an opportunity to remind my little ones that we are very lucky to have so much, but anymore, it seems I am looked down upon (maybe I do it to myself?) if I am not volunteering for EVERY. SINGLE. EVENT. And so I accept invitations to volunteer when my kids do not have appointments or events. And there goes the weekend. To say that makes me sound cold and uncaring, and that is not what I mean. I mean, when is the down time?

Am I a terrible person because I do not constantly send food in for each school event, show up to each class party, volunteer for every single committee, and contribute (monetarily or otherwise) to every person, organization, or otherwise, that hits me up? I don’t think so and I don’t think other people would feel that way either, so how do I prevent the constant guilt from occurring each time I decline or say no? My mom tells me it’s difficult with small children, and I tell myself that when they get older and need less (does that really ever occur?) I will participate more. But I’m not sure that is true. I want to be a good person, but I also want a little down time for sanity’s sake.

I want organizations to stop guilt tripping parents into having to bring snacks, attend every single sport, etc. I am sorry for the ranting that is taking place, and maybe I just need to accept the fact that there are more people out there that are better than me, in many ways. But is it exhausting, overcommitting. I have promised myself tonight to stop this ridiculous cycle and start learning to say no…without the guilty gut feeling. Here’s hoping it works!

Pallet Wall Reno

On a more optimistic and upbeat note, we all have our ways of releasing stress in our lives, and for my husband, it is typically housework. By that I mean checking something off our never-ending list of home renovations. Last weekend he tackled a big one, the pallet wall! We have a niche in our family room where the television is mounted to a blank wall, a very plain and boring spot. We have been talking for quite sometime about doing something to make it a more interesting focal point, and it’s just what has happened.

Halfway done!
I love the different variations of color.  It really added so much depth to the wall.

He worked with our neighbor to split up pallets and then cut the boards to fit the space, using a nail gun to secure them into place, one after the other. It was quite a tedious task, but the result was well worth it. He did a professional-looking job and I am incredibly proud of him. Check out the photos (yes, we were binging Stranger Things)

The finished product, alongside our Christmas tree. Talk about a productive weekend!