It’s Friday afternoon and I am beyond looking forward to the weekend and a little relaxation. As I sit in this safe, cozy chair I want to bare my soul to you. See you my dear readers are family and friends who support me. You have come to mean a great deal to me as I journey to find my most authentic self.
Lately my life has felt like a ball of yarn that someone grabbed the free end of and let unravel all over a hard wooden floor. As I have tried to scoop it back up and wind into back into a neat, little ball I have done a great deal of praying and introspection.
Is this where I am supposed to be?
Was not teaching this year the right thing?
Should I have shut down my side business?
Am I making the right choices?
I waited for God or the Universe to answer me back, but there was only SILENCE. But I have deep faith, and I knew God would answer back. So I just kept patiently listening…show me which step is next. I thought of all the ways God could answer me. That is when I remembered my very first prayer on this journey of authenticity; I prayed for friends. God had answered with abundance as he usually does. So I started to think about what I was hearing from them.
Strung together they may still seem random to you, but to me it was all the answers I had been looking for.
I am going to back up a minute because I think the whole picture is important. For the last decade and a half, which is most of my adult life, I have been preparing for WHAT I was going to be; not ever really focusing in on the WHO I was. See I only lived on my own for two years out of college and the majority of that time I was dating my future husband and just starting my career as a teacher. We were married and in that first year of marriage I was pregnant and preparing for motherhood. We went on to have four kids in the next seven years. I was always preparing to be…
The twins were two before the haze of my life was starting to wear off. Don’t get me wrong I loved all the moments, but they moved by at warp speed and I was so busy being WHAT I was that I never did stop to define the WHO. Maybe this didn’t happen to you, maybe you had it all figured out. But I sure didn’t.
So when I started to try and find my authentic self to see who I was, I figured out a couple of things quickly. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to have deep relationships and have a life with purpose. I thought that meant career, home, and self all at once. So I set out to do all the things.
And I did. I performed well at my full-time job, now in sales, but none the less I rose to the challenge of a new career and was executing it well. I was raising healthy, well-mannered, kind children. I had a solid partnership and loving marriage with my best friend. I started a side business that was beginning to flourish. And last, but certainly not least, I was writing. A dream I have had from a very young age and to my surprise people were reading my little blog. Slowly at first, but more and more with each passing year.
I really was doing it all and doing it well. But with so many balls in the air at once things were slipping and falling. Unfortunately, my focus was on the things that dropped, not the things that rose to the surface. I was just noticing the things that went wrong or didn’t get accomplished.
I was running on empty.
It was too fast. I was on a hamster wheel and I needed to get off.
Fear gripped me though. Wasn’t I supposed to fill up my life with the things I wanted? And I was successful, so why pull back? Outside looking in; I had it all. But…
I was in the worst physical shape of my life and nearing an emotional low. How was this happening?I had listened to my intuition and by some blessing or luck I was achieving all of my dreams. But the problem was in the whirlwind of doing it all I wasn’t actually enjoying them. So I have started stripping things down. If something didn’t feel right no matter the public humiliation or sense of failure at the time I stopped doing it.
I needed to put my oxygen mask on first.
Maybe saying no to soccer so we weren’t gone all afternoon was saying yes to the precious down time we needed to re-energize.
So I stripped it all away – learning the things I didn’t want to do.
I’m still a work in progress, but I knew being a mom was what I really wanted. So I chose to put my family first. I am home afterschool and at bedtime. If my kids need me, I drop what I am doing and make sure they get what they need.
I am also putting me first. I am trying to find my way back to running. I am writing again. I have made overdue dentist and doctor appointments and am trying acupuncture to put myself back together again.
I am also taking stock in my success. My mediumship gift is just that a gift. It belongs to me and God will continue to show me when and where to use it. If it is meant to be a business again when my kids are older it will be. Just because others are demanding it of me doesn’t mean I have to share or answer their demands. My family and myself need to come first. Each of us is a gift. We must nourish ourselves, too.
I was “fucking crazy” not to like myself. I may be an introvert and run and hide. But I am kind, hard-working, bright, determined, compassionate and contrary to what I said on an Internet questionnaire 10 years ago – I would LOVE to be my friend.
So the last of what I heard hit home, too. I know that what I am doing is the right thing. When I got to hold my friend’s infant son for the first time, I was “glowing” holding that baby. I felt a sense of peace wash over me. God was answering me. Yes, taking the time for my friends and family – this is right.
I can say no thank you or maybe later. I do not have to do all the things all at once.
So I guess what I am hoping to share with you all is…
If you can’t find or see your answers, don’t stop looking for them. Handle yourself with kindness. You have permission to NOT do all the things all at once or ever if you don’t want to.
A wise person always tells me, “You can do one thing really well, two things okay and three things not all.” It is okay to slow things down and focus on the one to two things you really want to do well; the rest will fall into place.
8 thoughts on “Permission to say no thank you”
Love you Michelle! Thank you for sharing. I believe you are “on track”! You help so many of us that are seemingly in the same state of life “focus”. One of your gifts is that you stop and share. I hope it benefits you. I know it benefits us! I love that you live out loud! The impact you have is enormous! Please keep sharing. I love your priorities. Makes your mom and I so proud! I love being your “friend”! You are “extra special”. You are “enough”. You are everything a parent could hope for and more. Can’t wait to read your book …… keep writing!
You and lori did an awesome job Steve! All of your kids are phenomenal human beings. You are 1 of my favorite families. Michelle has been such a blessing to my family. I don’t know how we would have gotten through the last year and a half without her. I feel blessed just knowing you guys. ❤️You
Definitely keep on writing! That, too, is a gift. I can sense the healing in your written “voice”, so I know you are doing the right thing. Your gift to your family is you. The best gift of all.
Thank you, Jean. I appreciate your kind words and support.
I love this Michelle, I feel like I had a lot of similar emotions when deciding to leave my hospice work. I still feel it is my passion and I was really doing Gods work. I was pretty darn good at it but I could never say no even if it was an off day and my patients family called me cause they didn’t want the on call nurse…how do you say no to someone when they need you at the most difficult times in there life. I couldn’t! And I at the end of the day I had nothing left to give my family. I was drained emotionally and physically After lots of prayer and seeing how much I needed to be a mom and wife I decided to leave.and guess what God still leads me back there from time to time. I still get comfort care patients and still get to help guide families that are about to make the difficult decision of hospice. And for now it is fufilling enough. I still get to do Gods work, and I always feel I will go back to being a hospice nurse once my kids are grown. I know I made the right decision and I’m sure you did too. Listen for the still small voice God will guide you. He loves you too and I know you will better be able to share your gift if you take care of your family and YOU first. Thank you for your blog and for being you. ❤️You! Katie
Love you, Katie. You are such a blessing and I feel so honored to know you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. It is so hard to say no when others need you so much. I am so grateful for your words of encouragement – thank you.
I absolutely love being your Aunt. hugs, Aunt Deb
Love you, too.