It was as close to the perfect day as you could get. We sat there, just me and her, licking our ice cream cones, watching folks as they drove into the square and circled the center statue, deciding with a flick of the blinker which way they would go that day. Folks walked the street, moving in and out of open shop doors, kids dashed ahead of their parents, only to stop and dash back to make sure they were still in tow. It was mid-day and just warm enough to not need a jacket. We sat there in companionable silence, only speaking when something funny or out of the ordinary caught our attention.
As I sat there with my oldest girl, I thought to myself – “I am so glad I said “yes” to this moment.”
As I sat there soaking in the sun I recalled a conversation I had with her just a few weeks prior.
She came to my room, plopping down on my bed. I could tell she had a lot on her mind – Final senior year classes, her part-time job, sports, ACT’s, SAT’s, College applications, travel plans, summer plans, finances, friends – So much too do, so many things to consider and decisions to make. I could tell she was overwhelmed.
“Mom, what do I do?” “How do I decided” What if I make the wrong choice?” – The questions came fast and furious and I prayed that God would give me wisdom in that moment. Senior year can be stressful, with a million and one decisions to make. But I knew this was just the beginning for my young girl. Every season of life holds a thousand and one of these same questions and all those questions demand an answer. A yes or a no.
As we worked through her questions I remember telling her something I had heard recently that had deeply impacted me.
“Sweetheart, you have to realize that you only have so many “yes’s” to give – and if you give too many “yes’s” away, then you’ll burn yourself out and make yourself sick. The key is deciding what and who to give those “Yes’s” too. Which ones, at the end of the day, really matter the most to you?”
“Once you decide what your “Yes’s” need to be then you take the rest of your list and those become “No’s” for right now.”
This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way the last few years. A few years ago I kept giving out “Yes’s” and ultimately burned myself out to the point that I became sick and deeply depressed. I had given away to many of my valuable yes’s to a lot of good things…but, just because they were good, didn’t make them the right things.
In the end, my health, my family and my relationships suffered.
Now on this side of that dark season I am so much more careful about the “Yes’s I give. I have started evaluating how many healthy “Yes’s” I can give in a day, a week, a month and in a year. Once I have decided what my limit is, I say “No” to everything else. Margin in life has become deeply important to me.
One of the Yes’s for me was this trip with my girl. This trip that found us eating ice-cream and people watching in a bustling little town seven hours from home. Sure, there’s plenty of stuff on my to-do list and a business on hold for a few days – But it’s a “Yes” I don’t regret giving. This time with my girl. With my book loving girl. Who loves browsing small town shops and people watching as much as I do – this time with my girl I will never regret saying “Yes” too.
Remember – It matters who and what we give our “Yes’s” too. So….Are you giving too many of your “Yes’s” away?
If so, what is one thing you can do today to reclaim some of those “Yes” moments and create healthy margin in your life?
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through my affiliate link there is no extra cost to you. Simplified Life earns a small commission that helps us to keep this blog up and running. Thanks so much for your support. See our full disclosure here.