I'm Jist a Girl Who Cain't Say No
I’m in a turrible fix.
I always say, “Come on, let’s go,”
Jist when I orta say nix.
For the past two months, I haven’t had a chance to post because I got myself into quite a mess. Apparently, I have not mastered the word, “No.”
Teach an online class? Sure…
Take a few more piano students? Why not…
Do some volunteer chaplaincy work? I guess so…
And, then, I pipe up, “I want to start a ward playgroup.”
“I should get more involved in this non-profit…”
Add these commitments to the everyday Church and family obligations, and well, you have one stressed-out Emily. I felt like the Girl in a Whirl, but well, I wasn’t getting half of things done in that poem.
One morning in the midst of my mess, Annie’s song from the musical, Oklahoma, popped into my head. I laughed out loud, realizing the lyrics fit so well.
There was a time when I thought it was great to say, “yes” to everything. It meant I could handle whatever people needed me to handle. If there was a problem or an opportunity, well, count me in!
Now, I don’t think saying, “yes” is such a good thing. In fact, I think often I say, “yes” because I’m not brave enough to say, “no.”
I rationalize my inability to say, “no.” Some things sound fun or are great career/educational/spiritual opportunities. Other times, I feel like a task is my responsibility to do—even if no one else would think so.
Or, I don’t want to say, “no” because I’ll feel guilty, I’ll disappoint someone, I’ll miss out on something great.
Usually, I wait out the times I’m overcommitted. I get less sleep, I don’t see my husband much, and I find the time to fulfill what I’ve signed on to do. But, this was the first time I’ve gotten in too deep with kids. I yanked my toddler around the store as we bought ingredients to make cornbread for the ward chili cook-off (not just a plate of cornbread; cornbread for the whole ward—actually, that was DH’s inability to say, “no”), and I would ask my baby, completely exasperated, what his problem was—only to remember that I hadn’t nursed him for 4 hours.
So, a couple weeks ago, I did what I should have learned when I was about twenty. I cut out the stuff that didn’t have to be done.
And, yet, I still feel guilty…
Do you think saying, “yes” is a part of Mormon culture (particularly among Mormon women)? Have you learned how to say no?