Learning To Say,“No.”

Working full-time gave me permission to opt out of things that I didn’t want to do. There wasn’t enough time to say, “Yes,” to everything. My time was occupied. Others understood this and I did too. 

The Guilt Of Job-Free Time.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Now, I have lots of time that isn’t formally structured. It’s like having a permanent “Not Busy” sign on my door. It effects how others view me but more importantly is effects how I view myself. I have the time and so I should want to support others as much as I can, right? Isn’t it my new role?  It doesn’t seem very kind to say, “No” to others. I feel guilty about refusing to do something for someone that I have time to do. And yet, I feel a bit of resentment too. 

Resentment Spoils Relationships

I’m paying attention to that resentment and I know that if I don’t address it, it will build. I feel stressed and angry about the demands that I am placing on myself to support others. If I don’t do something about it, it will affect my relationships with others.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Creating Boundaries 

I am my own worse enemy by agreeing to do ‘all the things’ because I think it’s expected of me. It’s not. I need to create my own boundaries around what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. I have to step up and say, “No” to that urge to do everything. It involves a fair bit of self-talk, reminding myself that I can use my time on the things that I want to do. I don’t need to drop those things to meet others’ needs unless it’s an emergency or special situation. Being retired means learning to say, “No.”

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