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Holiday Shock – The Art of Saying No

I’m reading a book, called “The Power of No” that my friend Beth gave me. I’ve spent most of my life saying “yes.” For the last 20 years, I’ve spent most holidays driving or flying to visit relatives. I’ve loved every single holiday, including living in Jersey City when my sisters came to visit us for Thanksgiving. However, I have never felt so relaxed after staying home for Thanksgiving this year. I can tell my husband needed this Stay-Thanksgiving even more than I did. On the other hand, it’s so tough not to be with everyone we love, who happen to be everywhere. I think because I’ve been told “no” a hundred times in the last two years, I’ve come to value “yes” so much more. A yes is like Christmas – it’s my friend Leslie lending me her apartment in the City – it’s Linda picking me up from the airport in D.C., it’s my neighbor Aaron agreeing to house sit my dog Tank for the 20th time, and it’s the “yes” we’d like to hire your company… These “yes-es'” are lifesavers for me. Hearing “no” leaves me grateful for these wonderful yes-es. My cousins Ila and Stacey invited us to stay home this Thanksgiving with them, to which we gratefully responded “yes.” They hugged us, fed us and put up with our silliness – We felt loved. I want to continue to be with everyone I love, everywhere, and I think the key is being true to my own “no’s.” So here’s my draft list of recommended no’s for the holiday season that I plan on sticking to: 1. No, I cannot get caught up in the drama of gift giving and overspend on my credit card. 2. No, I cannot go to every holiday party, holiday event or dinner and I may not even go out New Year’s Eve. 3. No, I cannot afford to give to every charity I want to give to 4. No, I am not too old, and I feel very confident in saying that again until I reach my 80s. 5. No, I do not need another glass of wine, even though I want one. So that I can say… 1. Yes, I would like to help you in any way I can if my schedule permits 2. Yes, I respect myself for saying “no” 3. Yes, I am going home early to work on my business, because I love what I am doing! 4. Yes, the holidays are wonderfully tough aren’t they? 5. Yes, I may not always stick to no, but it’s my right to decide for myself, and I’ll accept the consequences either way. All those in favor, say “aye…” All those opposed, please share your opinion….I’d love to hear from you.

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