Why it’s Okay to Say No… and NOT Feel Bad.

I don’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t busy.  In high school, I was in all AP classes, clubs, and marching band.  In college, I was working full time on night shift and was taking 4-6 classes during the daytime.  My social life was always a priority and I always made sure I could say yes to every lunch date, party, movie, wine night etc.  Then I started my business and just added that to the list of commitments. Fast forward a few years later, I am a full time business owner.  I am responsible for EVERYTHING.  I don’t have a boss or professor giving me deadlines.  I don’t have rules to follow.  I don’t have to ask off in advance. To some people this is the life! Which it is in a way.  It is SUCH a blessing to be able to schedule my own vacation times and start my workday whenever I want.  However it has its downsides, like anything else.  Nobody else is keeping me accountable.  So when I decide to take the day off or only work a half day, I have to make that up later in the week.  It has come to the point that I am working seven days a week anywhere from eight to TWENTY hour days.  There is always something to work on! Branding, advertising, emails, finances, editing, blogging, website maintenance and actually the SHOOTING.  I maybe spend 5% on my business actually PHOTOGRAPHING.  So from now on I am scheduling 1-2 days as actual OFF days to keep me from going insane.  I told myself in the past I don’t deserve off days since I have a job I love.  Which is total craziness! I need those netflix and ice cream days.  I need days where I can spend with my man or family without editing the entire time.  I need those days where I can go shopping or hang out with friends.  Most importantly though, I NEED those days where I don’t answer my phone and watch trash tv.

I feel SO many women put themselves in this position. Moms you have carpool, activities, dinner to prepare, house to clean, and on top of that a 9-5, business to run, husband to pay attention to….. You have no time for yourselves!  Working ladies (mamas or not) you have deadlines to meet, bosses to make happy, traffic to deal with… Where is your wine night? Where is your “stay  in your pjs day”?  College ladies.  You have homework to do. You have tests to study for.  You have group projects. Where is your day to go for a walk and explore that new place downtown?  This isn’t how our day to day life should be.  I refuse to have my life consist of to do lists, midnight meltdowns, and date nights consist of “I’m almost done.”  I WILL have my life consist of spontaneity, midnight giggle fits, and countless times with the ones I love.

So what am I telling you? It’s okay to say no and not feel bad.  You DESERVE to have time for yourself. But let’s take that a step further.  Yeah it’s easy to take this and say no to bosses and that extra weekend work pile.  What’s hard is saying NO to every lunch date.  Every cook out.  Every play date.  Every invitation.  You don’t need to make an excuse of why you can’t make the girls dinner.  That might be your ONLY day off to have your time alone.  As much as you love your girls or coworkers…. its okay to love your bed and popcorn a tad more sometimes.  I said it!  Repeat after me. It is OKAY to love your bed and popcorn a tad more.

It is okay to say no and not feel bad.  So it’s Friday morning.  I am going to finish up some office work and then for the rest of the day AND this weekend I am enjoying my panda bear fuzzy socks, movies, and hot chocolate.  Yes I have a horrible cold and just recovered a case of pink eye so its a little easier to sound so secure in this… but I don’t feel bad about it!

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