“But the struggles make you stronger And the changes make you wise And happiness has it’s own way Of taking it’s own sweet time. No, life ain’t always beautiful Tears will fall sometimes Life ain’t always beautiful But it’s a beautiful ride.” – Tommy Lee James / Cynthia Evelyn Thomson


I really struggle with disappointing people. I worry about hurting other people’s feelings because I didn’t do what they wanted me to or I didn’t help them when they asked me to. I don’t know why, I don’t know why I take on that burden. I, up until recently, haven’t had a lot going on so it has been easy for me to help others and work around their schedule. I was able to arrange what I needed and wanted to do around what everyone else’s schedule dictated. 

I think of others first. I always do for others. Maybe it’s engrained in me after caregiving for so long. But even before Duane got sick, I did what he wanted when he was off of work. I was able to do anything I wanted for the 48 hours he was at the fire station, so I always figured when he’s home it didn’t matter what we did, as long as we were together. I can’t recall a time, in the last year, that someone has asked me for something or needed something and I have said no. I can’t tell you of a time when someone was stuck and I didn’t help them. It’s actually not part of who I am – I don’t operate that way. But I can tell you in the last two weeks how many times I have been told no, someone can’t help me or have ignored my calls to not help me. (That’s another post entirely – and part of the reason I don’t ask for help UNLESS I really need it). If you have read my last few posts you know that my anxiety is crazy high and I am easily overwhelmed when I have “too much” to do…. hmmmmm

This week at counseling we talked about something that we had previously discussed, numerous times – apparently it takes me awhile! hahahaha. It’s a great way to reframe the thoughts you have when someone asks you to do something or when you are trying to schedule everything YOU need to do. 

The concept is simple … ask yourself to fill in the blanks in these two sentences before committing to anything. 

  1. By saying YES to ______________, I am saying NO to ______________.
  2. By saying NO to ______________, I am saying YES to _____________. 

Example – (this is simple one – but works for major things too)

  1.  By saying YES to babysitting, I am saying NO to the nap I need.
  2.  By saying NO to babysitting, I am saying yes to taking the nap I need. 

By putting the options into a scenario like this I am forced to realize what I am putting aside to help someone else. As unnecessary as a nap may seem to you, it is probably the only 2 hours of fully restful sleep I will get in a 24 hour span. It is life for me. 

I have been using this the last few days for everything I need to do or am asked to do. 

  1. By saying YES to shoveling my driveway stone, I am saying NO to studying for my final. 
  2. By saying NO to shoveling my driveway stone, I am saying YES to studying for my final that I have worked so hard to take this semester. 

So far it has made even the simplest decisions easier. I am going to elaborate even more soon. I am committed to this process right now. I need to put myself first and only take on the “tasks” I want to take on! 

I’ll keep you posted on when I “crack” or if I’m able to keep this up! I need to start saying no. No to things that don’t serve me. No to things that hinder my progression. No to things that hold me back. No to people who are takers only. No to people who are selfish. Just no. 

– xoxo Victoria




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