It’s been a rough week. We’re still adjusting to the fact that my mother-in-law is no longer with us on this earth. We’ve been working hard to finish school (today’s the last day!). My husband has been on the phone a lot, helping with arrangements for the service. And I’ve been getting us ready to travel for the memorial service. It’s all necessary stuff. But it can get overwhelming.
This week I’ve discovered the importance of the word “no.” I’ve said no to watching the news (and I’m a news junkie!). The bad news on TV is just too much this week.
I’ve said no to work. My blog has been unusually quiet, and I’m OK with that. Thank you all for being OK with it too.
I’ve said no to housework, a lot of it anyway. Next week we won’t have school, so we’ll have plenty of time for housework then.
I’ve said no to internet time, outside activities, and even cooking (we had an everyone fend for themselves night).
And you know what? It feels good to say no.
Through my mother-in-law’s death I have been reminded of the gift of life we all have. And I’ve been reminded of the need to simplify.
My mother-in-law was gifted in letting people know they were special. That they mattered. A birthday never went by unnoticed. Any time we visited her house, she did her best to make it special. And even in the midst of my grief after losing a baby to miscarriage, my mother-in-law, more than anyone else, knew just how to react to show that she cared. She was there. Not just physically, but her complete attention was focused on the need at hand.
Life, for my mother-in-law, was about relationships. Her relationship with God. Her relationships with family. And that’s the way it should be. That’s why it’s important to say no.
There are a lot of good things in life. There’s always one more great homeschool subject to squeeze in. One more wonderful extra-curricular activity. One more opportunity to volunteer at church. One more TV show to watch, etc., etc., etc. But with each “one more thing” we say yes to, we’re saying no to something else. Time is finite.
Maybe we’re saying no to free time to rejuvenate. No to time for playing with the kids. No to quiet time with God.
Our lives, whether it be with our time or our money, are all about decisions. What we let in and what we keep out. This week I’ve been reminded that these choices are to be taken seriously.
At the end of my life, I want to be remembered as someone who made those around me feel special, someone like my mother-in-law. I don’t want to be the mommy who was always working. The mommy who never had time for anything fun. The wife who had time for everything but her husband.
I want to guard my time. To simplify, so I have time for what is truly important. My God. My husband. My family. My friends.
Life is short. Figure out your priorities and then live according to them. Don’t be afraid to say no to everything else. That’s my new mantra.
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