Thursday, February 1, 2018

Saying “no” brings inner peace.

When I tell people that I work from home, usually they think (or sometimes say!) “oh! What a nice hobby!”  In reality, it’s a full-time job that I am just lucky enough to be able to do from home. But that also comes with some sacrifices. 

I also homeschool our son. Working from home allows me some flexibility in my schedule. If I need to take some time from sewing so I can get something else done, I usually can. But it might mean that I’m up working at two in the morning to make up for lost time. Would I trade it for anything else? Nope. Have I had to learn how to balance my priorities? You bet. 

I think that’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned: how to say “no”. Not just learn HOW to say it, but actually follow through and say “no” to friends and family despite my inner voice trying to convince me that I can squeeze it in. 

On a regular basis, someone asks me if I can hem something for them (my dad last week), or make them a dress (call from old friend yesterday), or mend their jacket (last month). In the past, I would have agreed to help, usually for free, and then regretted it. So I’ve learned to politely decline (except my dad, he’s the only one. And he’s also patient and understands how busy I am). 

I’ve also had to learn to say “no” to myself. I see so many amazing things on Instagram and Pinterest and want to make them ALL. I want to enter every competition, every swap, make every pattern! But I know that’s not possible or practical. This year, I’ve decided not to do any swaps that involve sewing (I am doing a fabric swap). 

Saying “no” does not make you mean or cold. It simply means you’ve learned to put your family or yourself first, and that’s what counts. If you say “yes” to something that you don’t really have the time for, what will you have to sacrifice? Sleep? Time with family? Your sanity?? Is it worth it?  This mantra also works for WIPs (works in progress). Don’t be afraid to give up on a WIP that you’re not enjoying. You won’t hurt that quilt’s feelings! You don’t owe it anything! Have an honest look at your projects and don’t be afraid to say “no”. It’s very freeing. :)


  1. After a very rough stretch, I decided this was going to be the year I slowed things down. More watching quietly until my almost 3 year old is done exploring something, instead of deciding she's had enough time. More unstructured, unscheduled time as a family. More space in my schedule. More time for desperately needed self-care. And to do that, I have to say no a lot. No to that Board. No to that commitment that looks like it fits in to my calendar, but actually would crowd out the space. No to that class my 7 year old wants to take. (We've talked about the why of that and what I'm trying to do. She understands remarkably well.). But, I find most of all I have to say no to *myself*. I'm amazed how often I think "oh, we should go to that" or "we should do this." And I have to catch myself and ask if it's really worth it. Recognizing the trade offs in time and energy I'm making is harder than I realized. I think this year is going to be good for me not just in recovery time, but in changing my perception.

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