stressed out

Here’s your assignment for the week: Say no to something. Turn someone or something down. Refuse to budge. Stamp your foot if you have to. Because it’s okay to do it.

This is what I have learned from reading an awe-inspiring article out of The New York Times. A Facebook friend posted it, and I have to send her a huge “thank you” for doing so. Because we all need to be liberated from our female desires to volunteer, give up our time and say “yes” to everything under the sun.

The article’s title pretty much says it all: “Frazzled Moms Push Back Against Volunteering.” It starts out by telling the story of one California mom who reached a breaking point when it came to volunteer requests from her kids’ school. Here’s my favorite part:

Jamie Lentzner realized that she had spiraled out of control. She vowed to put an end to all this volunteering ….So when she saw her name listed as chairwoman of the annual Donuts for Dads Day (another event she oversaw last year) on a volunteer sign-up sheet, she whipped out a Sharpie and crossed it out. “No, I’m not,” she wrote.

Bully for you Ms. Lentzner. You are a hero to us women everywhere. We are over-scheduled, overbooked and stressed out. Do you know what happens when you are stressed and cannot fit anything more into your life? You get gray hair, your gums recede and you get wrinkles. And I have had enough of all three things mentioned in that previous sentence. Really, my dentist would agree with me.

Look, girlies, I know what I’m talking about – and I’m not even in school at this point! I am committed to a variety of weekly writing jobs, I volunteer at my kids’ schools (preschool and kindergarten) and I just agreed to become president of my local Moms Club. I am already in despair about how I’m going to manage it all. And every time I complain about it on Facebook, someone tells my husband about it. And I don’t even want to get into that – he’s already miffed about the attention he’s lost when we had children, let alone all this new stuff!

So I end as I begin. Say no. Say it out loud. Say it to the guy passing your desk or seat right now. He won’t know what you’re talking about, but that doesn’t matter. It’s about letting the word leave your lips. It proves you can say it. Start using it to your advantage.

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