Fair warning: I changed the prompt of today’s #behappychallenge. But don’t worry, it is still very appropriate considering the hashtag.
One thing I’ve been working on for most of my life is learning to say “no”. It’s something I have a lot of trouble with and sometimes I’ll commit to something even though I don’t feel like doing it or don’t have time to do it. This always causes me a lot of stress and though I’ve been getting better over the years (by saying “let me think about it” instead of immediately agreeing), I’ve still got some work to do.
Then I realized that there are three people that I am easily able to say “no” to: Charles, Amélie and Elliot. I’ve always got a lot going on, whether it’s meal prep, sweeping the dining room floor after meals, taking care of some laundry, nursing Adrien… and I realized that I often say “no” to them when they ask to do something that is going to be time-consuming for me.
And you know, honestly, they’re pretty good at dealing with it and finding something else to do despite being disappointed, but for the past couple of days, I’ve been making a conscious effort to say “yes” to them more often. “Yes” to painting, “yes” to playing outside with them, “yes” to playing a board game with them, “yes” to reading them a second, third, fourth or fifth story. It’s more work for me (cleaning up gouache with sprinkles is a lot of fun…), things don’t get done as quickly (today, I started unloading the dishwasher at 9am and finished around 1pm) and some meals aren’t as elaborate or balanced as they could be, but it’s worth it.
It’s worth saying “yes” to spending more time with them. It’s worth saying “yes” to seeing their eyes light up with joy. It’s worth saying “yes” to putting aside the almost drill-sergeant persona and just living a bit.