One of the benefits of becoming a woman of, let’s just say, a—mature—age, is that I can say NO. I care a lot less about what others think.

Maybe it’s the good little Catholic girl in me, but in the past I regularly did things out of obligation. I pushed myself beyond what was physically and emotionally healthy. Somethings I took to the extreme. I’m not sure why I felt the compulsive need to have everything in order all the time.

Other times I was caring for loved ones. These people are very dear to me, and I wanted to be there for them. But I went too far, sacrificing my well-being for theirs.

And then there are those I didn’t want to offend even though they weren’t particularly kind to me. In the end, they weren’t any happier after all of my efforts.

So I now have quite a long list of things I refuse to do – unless I change my mind. Here are a few items on my No List:

  • I will not push myself to exhaustion. I’ve finally realized that taking breaks actually allows me to do more.
  • I will not hold on to little things that are best shared with my loved one. If I have something to say, I’m going to say it rather than simply think or feel it.
  • I will not do “fun” things if they are not fun for me.
  • I will not wear painful shoes no matter how cute they are.
  • I will not eat junk food – too often.
  • I will not go barelegged if I think my legs look better in hose.
  • But then I will not wear hose if it’s too hot, no matter how I look.
  • I will not pass up play time with family and friends.
  • I will not ever intentionally hurt anyone.
  • I will not look back with regret. I did what I thought was best at the time. I can only go forward.
  • I will not spend any time I absolutely do not have to with hurtful, petty people.
  • I will not hang on to past hurts.
  • I will not pass an opportunity to tell people how much I love and appreciate them.
  • I will not run unless my or my grandchildren’s lives depend on it. I just don’t like to run.
  • I will not pass on emails that say something bad will happen if I don’t.
  • I refuse to have cancer. I’m not doing it.
  • I will not breeze by my blessings without recognizing and giving thanks for them.

Now why don’t you make a list of your own? It’s quite liberating. Please share. I’d love to hear what’s on your list.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

 

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