Raise your hand if you’ve ever said “YES” to too much and life feels out of control? If you could see me now, I’ve raised both hands and my feet! This is a “toxic trait” I’ve noticed myself falling into; piling more on my plate than my life, body, and mind can handle. Saying YES isn’t the issue, the problem arises when I have no more space for the BEST.
This year, our youngest of 4 kids began her journey into youth sports. She has been dragged, I mean given, the opportunity to attend every sporting event and practice of her 3 older siblings. She’s spent her entire 13 years of life supporting her sporty siblings, so when her opportunity came to commit to her own sport, I thought she’d jump at the chance.
Well, she made a different decision than I was expecting, and it continues to teach me a great principle. When we asked her if she wanted to try out for a travel club team that requires an 8-month commitment, with 8-10 weekend tournaments and 2 practices a week, she thoughtfully declined. After my wallet sighed in relief, I was surprised and almost found myself coaxing her into this opportunity. As she explained her reason for saying no this year, I took notes.
She had explained that while this would be a fun experience to be with her friends and hone her skills, she wanted to protect her free time on the weekends and not attend a sports practice until 9:30 pm on school nights. I was so impressed with her maturity in not feeling pressured or a bit of the FOMO (fear of missing out) we all tend to feel when choosing what’s best for us over what the crowd is doing.
My youngest was reminding me of the importance of margin in our lives and establishing healthy boundaries that will help us create a fulfilling life. Being able to say NO so that she can say YES to things that are essential. I’ve since admired her ability to remain confident in her choice and not waiver on her strategy to protect her time. I’ve also started to follow her lead to create margin and find places in my life where I can say NO, delegate or take things off my plate that are not serving my highest good.
Lately, I have said NO to morning social media and emails so that I can say YES to a daily morning walk outside. I’ve said NO to evening projects or shows so that I can say YES to getting to bed earlier. I’ve said NO to the pressure to stay mindlessly busy so that I can say YES to a regular meditation and breathing practice daily. These are my spaces of margin and healthy boundaries so that I can thrive each day. Where can you find margin and say NO to make room for the best YES?