Is Over Commitment Your Middle Name?

Is over commitment your middle name? Do you hate to turn anyone down? Do you say yes before thinking? If overcommitment is making you run behind schedule, here are ten ways to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

  • “I’d love to, but this isn’t a good time for me to make  that kind of commitment.”
  • “My plate’s pretty full at the moment; I’m going to have to say no.”
  • “Not this time.”
  • “I’m going to have to pass.”
  • “I can’t be involved at this time. But I can suggest someone who might be willing to help. Have you considered asking——?”
  • “I wish I could say yes, but my schedule at the moment is filled ot the brim.”
  • “It would be a mistake for me to take on the project now because I don’t have the time available to do the best job.”
  • “Thanks, but no thanks.”
  • “I can not, in good conscience, make another commitment now.”
  • “No”

Boundaries and the word “no” are your friends however there are some people who see a structured system of principles and boundaries too confining. Not enough freedom, Some folks say this is about religion. Some even say it is about marriage. And yet, the truth is that boundaries don’t eclipse freedom; they enable freedom.

Seriously, it’s true. Boundaries and knowing when to say no are the very foundation upon which freedom and zestful, joyous living are built. Seems paradoxical, doesn’t it? 

And yet when people ignore healthy, commonsense boundaries today, they are very often narrowing their options for tomorrow. Learning when to say thanks but no thanks and setting healthy boundaries reduces stress.

Don’t Forget To Relax With Your Kids

Suppose your children were asked what one thing they really wish they could change about their family. That very question was asked of eighty-four thousand students in grades six through twelve who recently completed a USA Weekend survey.

 It turns out that almost two-thirds of kids surveyed said that what the kids said was they wanted was not just more time but relaxed time. The kind of time a kid would consider as just plain “fun.” No expectations, no stress and no frantic pace. It’s the kind of time that creates family togetherness that relaxed, carefree time is also what kids crave and need.

Here are a few simple ways to create relaxed family time.

  • Nighttime rituals: read a nighttime story; remind each other of the best part of the day; give hugs and kisses goodnight.
  •  Special greetings and ways to say “I love You”: rub noses for an “Eskimo kiss“; create your own family funny hugs.
  •  Celebration of successes: hang a flag on the front door when something special has happened to a family member:use a “fancy” plate at the dinner table when a family member has done something to deserve recognition.
  •  Birthday memories: each family member chooses his or her favorite birthday menu, cake, outing, and song to be piped through the household as a birthday” wake-up” call. Some families even hang a family member’s shirt on a flagpole or broomstick stuck in the front lawn to let the world (or at least the neighborhood) know it’s that person’s special day.
  •  Frivolous fun: Fly kites on Groundhog Day; play practical jokes on April Fool’s Day.
  •  Sports and outdoors: Go fishing on Father’s Day; be die-hard Chargers fans together.
  •  Volunteering and service projects: bake an extra turkey for Mrs.Jones on Thanksgiving; serve Christmas Eve dinner at the homeless shelter or help out at another,less “popular” time of year. Help your favorite charity as a family once a week or month.
  •  Enjoying each others company: spread a rug or towel on your living room floor,gather the troops, put on some up beat music, and serve simple sandwiches, finger food, and boxed drinks. Who says you have to go somewhere to have a good time together?
  •  Family Game Night: dust off the Chutes and Ladders, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Candy land, Go Fish, or that old deck of cards. Older kids might like Trouble, Uno, Kerplunk, Risk, or Porker. Some families hold Family Game Night once a week for thirty minutes to an hour. Have an assortment of games and let a different family members choose what you play each time.

I read the other day that research has proven that doing simple rituals enhances our feelings of togetherness and family belonging by almost 20 percent. What’s more those home traditions and customs also increase our kid’s social skills and development. So what are you doing to keep memories of your times together for your kids?  Good ol’ fun sounds like time spent at grandma’s house. Doesn’t it?

Time Is Marching On

One of my favorite cinematic scenes is in the movie Steele Magnolias.  

Truvy Jones (played by Dolly Parton) is standing on the porch of beauty salon talking with young  Annette ( played by Daryl Hannah “Honey”  Truvy says, ” Time is marching on-and it is marching all over my face.”  

No words were truer than this time is marching on and not only is it marching all over my face but it has taken over my whole body. As I recognize this phenomenon of aging I’m reminded that I’ve earned every wrinkle. Every year their numbers increase. We’ve been together so long, that we are becoming good friends. But not such good friends, that I wouldn’t agree to have them  removed. Like un-friending a friend on Facebook.

I’ve  always wondered if wrinkles could talk what they might say? Perhaps the lines on my forehead would say?  I waited up for my children when they missed their curfew, started driving or went out on their first dates.

 However, there is another way to look at these characteristic indention. Maybe the lines on my forehead show how much time I’ve spent thinking about those I love or studying the world around me and finding it good. The lines around my mouth might come from the many times I ‘ve stood in awe and smiled at a beautiful sunset over the ocean.  Or smiled at a flower as it began to bloom as I walked through the rose garden in Balboa Park in San Diego and smiled at how wonderful creation is. I’m sure that some of the lines around my mouth and eyes are from the gift of laughter. Anyone who knows me knows I laugh a lot.

Perhaps the lines around my eyes are laugh lines memory boards that hold the experiences of my life that I have enjoyed and participated in the most.  Occasionally my girlfriends and I would get together. We use to laugh and joke with each other about ageing.

 Now many decades later we wish that the beauty secrets in ” Grandma’s Little Beauty” remedy books would do the trick. But the reality is it takes money, money, money, to remove all our lines. What is a girl to do these days with all the choices we have?