When you say “yes” to one thing… you are saying “no” to ANOTHER

Random thought as I begin… I was discussing blogging last night with a young man who asked if I scheduled topics or just wrote. My answer was “You know, I sit down to write about, say Coke Zero, and all this other stuff comes out instead”. That is pretty much true with this post as well. I sat down to write about several other things, to draft and save. The title of this post came up instead. So here we go…


Ok, so I’m starting again. There was a delay in writing of about 45 minutes.

I am not a natural born early morning riser. My natural body clock is one of a night owl. Period. I got up to write. I sat down to write at 6:00 am. I couldn’t sleep, as I was bombarded by words, ready to be written, swirling around in my mind, so I got up to actually pen them.

My husband sleeps the sleep of angels and babies. He falls asleep easily, sleeps soundly, and sleeps through the night until morning. Always. He wakes easily to check on me if I’m restless and just as easily falls back to sleep holding my hand. He is just as loving to me in the morning if he has to get up at 6:00 am or it’s Sleep-In-Saturday. Because he gets good sleep, the peaceful wake-up-rested kind. It is the sleep I would choose, every time, if given a choice.

He woke up and came to check on me, sleep in his eyes, to find me writing, kissed me and went back to bed. A minute or three later, he texted me (cheeky), from our bed of layers of cotton quilts, to come spend time with him. Our mornings are sweet together. Sleepy “I love yous” and dozing and half-hearted grumbles of the alarm going off. It is time together I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I texted back… wait for it… “I’m working”.

When you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to another.

When you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to another.

I pride myself on multi-tasking. Well, not really pride, it’s more of a satisfaction feeling. And, not really multi-tasking either, it’s more of an efficiency of task organization, I think. People ask me the same question all the time “how do you get it all done?”.  I typically just laugh and say that I don’t know, or that I don’t know how to do it any other way. Efficiency, I guess, is the real answer.

And then I read this… When you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to another. Stopped me in my tracks, made me catch my breath, made me think a progression of things starting with “surely not” and “well, maybe?”

I heard or read this statement somewhere fairly recently. I am a collector of thoughts and quotes and poems and books and words. I love to mull quotes and new thoughts over, to come back to them later, to see how they change as I mature into them. I love to steep in the sting of the moral of the story, and let the smile of a learning moment last awhile. This statement had a profound effect on me. I believe it. Wholeheartedly. I knew this intrinsically, I just had never seen that string of words together in that way.

Time is precious. There are constant reminders of this by the news of accidents and tragedies. There are also happy reminders of this by births and weddings and holidays and anniversaries spent together.

The time spent in the confines of work, school, sleep, etc. isn’t in question for this post. In the modern world, most of us work. And sleep, or at least rest, overnight. It is those other hours and days when you get to choose, that I am thinking of. It shows your priorities, commitments, your heart, your passions, your drive, or lack thereof.

My husband had no idea what I had written before he woke up, came to find me, went back to bed, texted me. He had no idea of the title of this post staring back at me. He just chose, as he does every day, to spend his early morning with me. A choice that I cherish, and time with him that I cherish.

I chose to try to choose work over family. To test the theory out, in my case, in reverse. To say “I’m working”. To say “yes” to extra work meant to say “no” to my husband. It lasted about a minute thirty.

I rest easy in the “yes” to my husband and our family, as do they. The “no” everywhere else is free of guilt. Always.

We’ll talk about how saying “no” to something gives you the freedom to say “yes” to something else, someday soon.


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