Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Learning to Say No...or Yes

The title is rather ambivelant, don't you think?

But it actually makes sense to me. You see, this week, I'm bogged down with responsibilities, mostly chesed, that I've taken on. And I was wondering to myself whether or not I should have said no to some of them.

For example, I'm hosting a women's gathering in my house (read N'shei, for those who know these things) today. I have to drop off something else far away from my house today for someone who needs it. I do have a job, and I'm doing that too. Oh, and did I mention I'm hosting guests for Shabbos? And sleeping guests? And cooking a meal or two for a new mother? And I'm cooking for the annual Melava Malka?

Now. Each one of these projects is worthwhile in itself. And, I did say yes to everything, so I am going to do it all. And, I'm happy about doing it all, that I have the chance to do so much chesed. So, that's the yes factor in all of this.

The no factor is that I still have a house to run, a job to do, and a baby to take care of. And, I didn't have to take on everything this week specifically. I could have said no, and had a slightly easier and less draining week. I would have had more time for myself, possibly, and would be a bit more relaxed about everything. So that's the no side.

All chesed is giving of one's self. Giving of the innermost side of one's self, that one wants to help others and is showing it by using their self and their talents to help others. So who wouldn't want to do that? That's why most people say yes when asked for a chesed job.

But there are times when it's necessary to say no. Add a couple more jobs on my plate and I would have had to say no to a few 'extracurricular' activities. And, I would have felt bad about that, because I do want to say yes. But sometimes one has to say no.

It's all about finding a happy medium.


itsagift said...

So true. There are times when you need to know how to say no. Taking on too many projects can be harmful to you and to your family...
Good for you that you can take on so many projects and still keep everything under control!
Good luck with all of them!
And I'll know who to call next time I need a favor ;-) I'll just have to wait a couple of weeks till you get all these things done!

ProfK said...

Yes, it's really hard to say no, especially when you know that you are capable of doing the thing asked, but you just can't push another activity in. We don't like to disappoint others. But on that busy to do list also has to be some time for your family and yes, for yourself. Just as no one can have it all, no one can do it all.

nmf #7 said...

Itsagift- No kidding. Now I'm down with the flu- hope all the rest of the projects will get done!
LOL- you can ask me for a favor at any time.

ProfK- Very true. Sometimes one can push oneself beyond one's capabilities, but not often.
I like your last line, I'll have to use that sometime!