Monday, December 31, 2012

When negatives make a positive

I'm making one self indulgent and empowering resolution this year.  I'm not talking about my expanding waist size, or other physical problems I may have.   Last year, my attempts to let go and be a forgiving human being were fairly successful.  Of course I endeavored to forgive just one person, so maybe that's why it worked out so well.  I didn't take on the Universe.  Just one annoying occupant and for the most part, the moment I let her go in my mind, I've barely given her a thought.

This year, my sole resolution is to embrace the word, no.

No.

Usually thought of as something negative, the word, no,  can be a positive if you learn how to use it to your benefit and as a complete sentence.  Can you work today?  No.  How about the next 4 days in a row because I was incredibly shortsighted and didn't plan for a dearth of nurses even though I'm the one who gave them all that time off?  No.  All by itself, it's an answer that requires no further adjectives, verbs or nouns.  Not, no, I'm busy. Or tired. Or sick. Or overwhelmed.  Just, No. I will grant you that the only way it's positive is if I count it as thus.  For instance, months ago, I set my schedule and worked full time ahead of the holiday so I could afford to take the entire week off between Christmas and New Year's Day.  When my boss begged me to work extra this week, I capitulated, allowed myself to be cajoled, and worked an additional 20 hours I'd not planned to work while she went on vacation.  Who's the fool?  Me.  Today I'm exhausted and feel completely empty after a marathon stretch of days triaging the problems of the sick.  Changing from full time to contingent this past year was to benefit me, not others, but I'm allowing myself to feel pressured to say yes all of the  time.  Well, not anymore.  As of this moment forward, if it doesn't fit into my schedule, I will allow myself to say NO to my heart's content.  If this decision is thought to be selfish, well, so be it.  If I don't see to my own well being and sanity, who will?

While I fully realize that this can be perceived as a negative at a time I'm supposed to be positive and looking forward, I kind of think that making time for myself is positive, and learning to use the word, NO,  liberally,  is a good way to start my year.


Happy New Year, my friends.  And if you have any advice on how to say no whilst making it sound like a positive thing, I'm all ears!

25 comments:

Sue B said...

I have worked PRN, and had the same problem. I would suggest setting up your schedule well in advance, and emailing it to your supervisor. Let them know the times you are available. Expect them to keep asking anyway. Role play with a friend and practice what you will say. "I'm so sorry, I wish I could" Repeat as needed. Find that person at work who has no trouble saying no. Remember him or her when you are role playing. I know it sounds hokey, but it really does help.

Seajaes said...

Just say No its not good for me. Keep repeating. Never ever say your sorry. That is not being in control.

Jane Galley said...

I think saying No, can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. For your sake, and for your family, you have to do it, it's someone elses turn to take the slack

Rose said...

All very good advice. Pretend you are talking to a friend when you need help remembering to say no. You would tell "her" to just say no, so be as kind and helpful to yourself. You can do this. To say yes to yourself, you have to say no to others. Happy New Year!

Mimi said...

Happy New Year Rudee!
Sorry that you ended up working so much when you were supposed to have a break.
I'm like you, pre-programmed to "yes", and every "no" is a real effort.
But we need to do it for our own sake, and with practice you'll surprise yourself (and others!, but they'll get used to it!)
A deep breath when you're asked, followed by "no", works for me. But I still get caught unawares sometimes, and it's important to forgive yourself for those times too. Let us know how you get on, please?

Amy said...

Remember that every time you capitulate, it's not only bad for you, but it's actually reinforcing your boss's behavior. She probably assumes she can get you to come around to her point of view, so it's easy for her to be lazy on the scheduling front. Saying no will, over time, force her to rethink how she does her job, because it sounds like she's not doing it well right now.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i just love this! good for you!

happy new year!

smiles, bee
xoxoxo

Silliyak said...

Sounds like you have been enabling. They will adjust. remember "Lack of planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part"

Knitty said...

Good for you! I began doing this years ago and what a relief! I occasionally give in, but now it is with people that I truly care about even if saying yes to the event isn't exactly thrilling to me. In other words, I say yes when I know it is someone who appreciates and would/will reciprocate.

Ever notice that men often say no and don't offer an apology or explanation? They don't feel rude and the guy asking doesn't read it that way either. Do ovaries carry guilt?

Finding Pam said...

Good for you. It take a little practice learning how to say "NO". I'm sure you will get it.

Irene said...

Happy new year, Rudee. I think saying no to things is just as important as saying yes now and then. It may even be more important because it is better to subtract than to add. It is not at all selfish because you do have to watch out for yourself. There is no one who will do that as well as you. xox

The Bug said...

I don't have a lot of trouble saying no but I think it's because I don't get asked to do all that much (I believe I've set my life up that way - ha!) - but in your case I would probably have a hard time. I like the suggestion of role playing & pretending that you're a friend who you've advised to say no. Good luck!

Brenda said...

No, I already have another commitment....usually works. After awhile they will stop asking. I have had some practice the last couple of years with this....and it seems to be working for me. Happy New Year Rudee!

sapphireblue said...

I am with you there. No is so difficult.

Stephanie V said...

Why is it so darned hard for us to just say NO and mean it? You have my support as you take the time for yourself. 2013 is going to be a great year.

peggyln said...

When I think back of all the goofy things I have done because I didn't say no...

Happy New year!

Rositta said...

Bravo Rudee, just say it,there is no sugar coating it, just say NO...ciao and Happy New Year

Ruth said...

Just remember No is a complete sentance - repeat as oftn as needed. You have other plans they well be staring into space, but that is what you planed for your day - not work.lack of planning on someone elses part does not consititute a emergency for you.
Have a great year.

Peggy Jones said...

Dear Rudee I have missed visiting you. Now that Christmas is over I will be more active on the computer and following you. I have given myself the same talk many times. You are so right. Saying no is taking care of yourself. How can you take care of others if you are disappointed in yourself for giving in. I have done it and hated myself. No more. You are the woman. Blessed New Year to you.
QMM

Alice said...

The first word HAS to be NO.
and I mean period.
They see even a little bit of sunlight, they will keep on.
Have a separate -paper- calendar JUST for work and literaly black out the days You Will Not be Working in any way shape or form. NO.
There is always a sob story, they know them all. As Nurses we have been taught about "abandonment" etc. . . . and that is part of the mental leverage they automatically use. NO.

Good luck and be strong in 2013.

Darci Brousseau said...

Good for you!

Kathleen said...

ooooo . . . good one! Mind if I copy you? I need to work on "no" myself!

SkippyMom said...

The most important thing to make this stick, and you should!, is to never preface saying "no" with "I'm sorry....but...." Just say it kindly and don't make excuses.

I think we, as women, would be a whole lot less stressed if we learned how to say it and NOT feel guilty doing it. That is one of the best things about being ill, I get to say no and I don't have to give a reason. Even if I could, if I don't want to or don't feel like it? A simple no and it is left alone. :D I wish I had learned it years ago. My Mom would've been much less of a strain on all of us.

Now if you have sufficiently recovered from seeing me here, on your blog, commenting - just wanted to stop in and say "Hi" and wish you a very great NEW YEAR. You most decidely deserve the best year yet. And give Leo a big 'ol doggie hug for me. Has he been staying out of trouble? :)

Larjmarj said...

Start saying no to the small things, then work your way up. I say it a LOT.

Seajaes said...

Where did you go?
Hope you didn't say no to blogging.