A few years ago my sister announced she was beginning the “year of no.”

A year where she decided to turn down everything. Everything.

Can you help me move? No.

Can you watch my children? No.

I’m not exactly sure how it went, or how closely she stuck to it, but that move definitely stuck with me, and I remember it from time to time, like, this past weekend.

I tend to say yes. A lot. Mostly it’s fine, but….sometimes it’s not.

Like most things related to health and happiness, it’s up to each of us to know the difference. Like most things related to health and happiness, we can’t rely on someone else to tell us what we very likely already know.

I spoke last weekend in Nashville. I’m home for three days, then flying out to Wilmington (North Carolina) to speak again. I’m home for 5 days and then have the ultramarathon I direct.

Was it the best idea to book out-of-town speaking gigs not only two weekends in a row, but the two weekends leading up to my race?

Yeah, no.

And so…

I grapple with this because I LOVE speaking to live audiences. And, while sometimes I reach out to events to see if they’d like me to speak, on occasion, events reach out to me. This was the case for both Nashville and Wilmington. They contacted me. Man, what a pickle. I said yes without so much as a hesitation. Then, on the airplane coming home and thinking about everything I need to do, I thought—why in the world did I say yes?

Thing is? I had a great time in Nashville. So fun, great crowd, great event.

Now though? I am tired, stressed about the race, and feeling overwhelmed with how much I still have left to do.

I guess if you’re looking for a decisive piece of advice from this post, you’re gonna be dissatisfied.


Because I don’t have a solid answer on this one.

On one hand, the prudent thing would’ve been for me to say no to the speaking gigs. On the other hand, I really do love doing them, and frankly I’d be stressed about my upcoming race regardless. Plus, “prudent” ain’t exactly an adjective that lights me up.

If I have to give any sort of answer it would be this…

Whatever my choices are…whatever I say yes or no to…behind all of that is this:

  1. I want to take good care of myself so if/when I say yes (even though it might’ve been smarter to say no) I can pull it off.
  2. I want to keep with my small steps practice which means understanding the value of moments and knowing where to find them so I can both avoid burnout and find respite wherever possible—this is coming in handy especially with family time over the next few weeks…
  3. I never want to shy away from cool stuff from fear or because I may be a little extra tired now and then. I can handle both.
  4. I want to always work on myself such that I’ll be able to recognize those times when, clearly, a ‘no’ is in order.

So, while I definitely understand the draw of ‘a year of ‘no,’ am I going to give it a shot?

Yeah, no.





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