August 9, 2017

The Freedom of No

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Last week, I officially worked out for the first time since my surgery in April. I rode that struggle bus of a bike for an entire hour, but at the end, I felt good that I accomplished something even thought I couldn’t push myself like I had hoped. What stuck with me wasn’t the crotch pain from cycling, (but man, it HURT!) it was the conversation I had with my dear friend after our class. We stood in the parking lot and she talked about how the words of Jen Hatmaker really rang true in her life.

For some reason this has really stuck with me too over the last week and to the point where a friend commented on how happy I seemed today. Sometimes in life you get so bogged down with the “Should I’s” and “Have to’s” that when you take a step back, you don’t have to really do any of it. This year I made the decision to minimize and live a simpler more intentional life, but really have I been doing a good job? Sure a bag to Goodwill here and there, but that mantra just rings in my ears.  It started with changing my plans for the school year.

I always felt like as a mom I had to be in the moms groups, or I had to be in a leadership role or even run a group like I did last year, like it was a mom job requirement. I always did it in corporate America, so I told myself, I had to.  When really, none of it is a requirement. My job #1 is taking care of my daughter and my family. That’s it. If you go through your year complaining and unhappy about it, well it’s time to get off that train.

The same holds true to friendships. Are you both in it 100%? If not, it’s okay to step away and move on. Sometimes things come into your life for a reason or a season, and it doesn’t need more than that. Sometimes people or things come into your life to teach you a lesson or give you perspective on your own situation. You learn from it, take away those nuggets of wisdom and prepare for the future.

Now when I think of opportunities for my blog, or play dates or even just what we’re going to do today, if it’s not a hell yes, well, then we’re gonna take a hard pass. As moms we always say yes, and darn it, I’m okay with saying no for now.  For me, clearing that schedule gives me the opportunity to work on self care (always important for any mom), continue to recover from surgery and regain my strength, and take on business opportunities for my blog that I genuinely want to work on.  If it’s not a fit right now, it may be a fit in the future, but for now, low key is key.

Are there areas in your life you’re struggling to give it a big Hell Yes?

Could you give them up?

Is it worth it for a simpler stress free life?

9 responses to “The Freedom of No”

  1. I feel like you write this directly to me, and I couldn’t love it more! With starting preschool this year I’m already feeling overwhelmed. Time to slow down some other things and focus on the kiddos!! Thanks for the reminder!!

    • Jen says:

      E is going to have an amazing year at school this year! You’ll have so much fun with just J! But yes, I’ll keep you accountable, us blogger ladies gotta stick together!

  2. Cathy says:

    I really need to take on this philosophy. Last year between being a Mom, blogging and being on my son’s Parent Council, I felt like I was drowning at times. This year, I am stepping back as well.

  3. Kate says:

    Great article Jen, it resonated with me too. Since our move further South a year ago I think my husband has been worried that I am not heavily invested in other groups and organizing lots of events and things because that is what he is used to. With this move I wanted to have more perspective, I wanted meaningful and fruitful relationships with friends. So like you I am taking more me time and actually enjoying the down time to think. Now with Rose going back to school I want to focus on my blog instead of always chasing my tail, so I am living other people’s ideals. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Cece says:

    Thank you for this.
    I really struggle with when it come to my children and school. I feel like I HAVE to go to all the meetings and events or I’ll be judged. Which is pretty ridiculous. If people want to look down on me for not attending a PTA or band meeting, I don’t really want to be friends with them. Skipping these things doesn’t mean I don’t care. I just don’t want to do it or feel there’s no need. And that’s ok.

  5. Julie says:

    You’re on the right path momma! I may not have kiddos yet but I agree with a lot that you wrote!

  6. Love these ideologies! So true! By the way I love the name of your blog. My daughter has the same name!

    • Jen says:

      It’s the best name isn’t it? My goal was to not have a top 100 name at all since mine and my husband’s were #1 in our birth years. I had 5 Jennifer’s in my class in 5th grade. Only 1 Hattie are her school.

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