In 2013 my Uncle gave me some life-changing advice: He told me about the unintentional “no.”

I had been lamenting my struggle with whether or not to continue teaching at the local university. I always seemed to have work conflicts. And my kids – then ages 5 and 2 – seemed to always be sick, or needing me at the exact time I had carefully set aside for developing my next lesson or grading work.

Here’s the gist of his advice: Every time you say “YES” to someone or something, you are unintentionally saying “NO” to someone or something else.

I started pausing more in my life and thinking through who was on the receiving end of my unintentional no, and I realized that more often than not – it was my family. My husband and kids always seem to be on the short end of the stick. And tonight is no exception.

I haven’t blogged in TWO MONTHS. Not very good when you decide to start a blog because you believe it will be good for your soul. Ugh.

But did I blog? No. I played with my layout. I searched for background images. I changed all the menu colors, then changed them back, then changed them again. Then I cursed at my computer when it wouldn’t properly load what I thought was the perfect background image – only to finally get it loaded and realize it wasn’t what I wanted.

My daughter was asking to paint. My son was asking for help writing apology letters (a story for another day). And I have been in here messing with this thing for nearly THREE HOURS.

No blogs in two months. And no time spent nurturing my tiny humans in three hours. Time to reevaluate who I’m giving an “unintentional no” to in my life, and set it right.

Much Love, H

(originally published on 4/26/16)