Monday, November 6, 2017

Parenting Tip - What Do You Say No and Yes To?

I've been listening to The Simple Show podcast for several months now and love it. It's a great walking-in-the-morning companion.  For the past little while, they have had a segment where Tsh Oxenreider, the host, and her friends discuss what they say NO and YES to on different topics.  It has made me stop and think about what I say no and yes to.  There is always a trade off--when you say no to something, it opens up your life to say yes to something else.  And vice versa.  So here are a few of the things I say NO and YES to.  Not by topic, but by what comes to my mind.

I say YES to nature.  I am somehow intrinsically bound to the weather and outside.  I open the door to check the weather each morning and I'm immediately happy when I see cloudy, stormy weather (I live in Arizona--enough said).  Because of saying yes to nature, I hike a lot with a hiking friend.  I have to.  I have to get outside and enjoy the cacti, clouds and beauty.  It's also a healthy mental outlet that I need.

I say YES to sunsets.  I check the sunsets in the evenings and randomly send out "sunset alerts" to my friends and family when I see a beautiful one.  And they send them back to me, by the way.  I say YES to stopping life and standing outside and looking at a sunset.

I say YES to grandchildren.  I am a child at heart still and love to watch children play.  I say yes to buying toys that let them use their imaginations. Lately I've been stalking the thrift stores for firefighter coats and hats.  I even converted one of our sheds into "The Kid's Club House" where last night my 7 year old grandson creatively hot glued small rocks onto a paper cup to make a fairy house.

I say YES to learning.  For the past 4 years I have been learning to play the banjo.  I learned to play the ukulele and teach it now.  I want to learn to play the mandolin and my children are buying me one for Christmas (I hope).  I've always wanted to learn to draw, so this year I have been taking an online art class.  I'm still not good at drawing, but I'm getting a lot better at lettering and doodling--which is what the class was about.  I'm thinking of taking an online watercolor class next year.
Now what do I say No to?

I say NO to feeling guilty about things.  This is an ongoing process but at my age, you would think I would have my act together.  Not so.  I have to continually analyze my actions and thoughts and specifically tell myself to not feel guilty about a situation or event.

I say NO to wasting time.  That doesn't mean I don't sit down and read a book, or look at Facebook.  But I try to organize myself to accomplish good things during the day--and evenings.  I cut down the time I spend on the internet randomly surfing and following mindless links and videos.

I say NO to shopping sales and ads.  When I need to buy clothing, I'll buy it.  If I shop all the ads, I tend to spend when I don't really need something. When I look at the ads and specials I find that I start wanting things I never knew I wanted or needed before.

I say NO to a life of misery, unhappiness or just going with the flow.  If I'm down I analyze why and try to change my attitude.  One of my favorite quotations is this one by Pres. Hinkley that is on my living room wall. 

I want to live my life so that at the end of it, I can look back on all the fun experiences I have had with family, grandchildren, friends and others.  I want to look back on the meaningful service I have given and the heart to heart talks I have had with loved ones.  I want to live an intentional life, not one that has just happened randomly as life went by.

This has been fun for me to think about what I say NO and YES to.  It really helps to put things in perspective and helps me realize what my values are.  It makes me stronger and more diligent in wanting to keep my "nos" and "yeses" intact (how do I spell that, anyway?).  I am living an intentional life.  I love that feeling.

It's something I say YES to.

Thanks for reading,


PS What a great experience it would be to talk as a family or as a husband/wife about what you say no and yes to.  It helps you get on the same page.  It helps you solidify what you want to happen in your family, how you want to spend your money and what experiences you want for yourself and your children.   It clarifies your values and beliefs and aligns your actions to those values. Say YES and see what happens!



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