Little No-s and Big Yes-es

I came to marriage and motherhood early.  And that means that my whole life I’ve thought as a group. I went from living with my family to living with my boyfriend.  So I’ve never had something I saw as ‘my money’ or ‘my time’.   It’s ‘our lives’.   We’re a team.   And I’m not complaining.  I think that awareness of interdependence is the only healthy way to live. (Interdependence, not dependence, you’ll note.)

But I’m 34 now and there is a part of me that wants to be spoiled.  Like there should be a payoff for years of responsibility.  But it’s not like that.  The struggle is the reward.  It’s not a game show with points at the end.  It’s a day by day, moment by moment, living with the flow kinda thing.  Finding grace in the moment at hand, that’s the struggle and the reward all in one.

I like to set goals and move forward, always evolving a new Sarah.  I like to fix things up a bit, tweak things, and try the impossible sometimes.  I never expected to be a homeschooler, or a runner, or a knitter, or a triathlete.

Yet I still have to remember all this when I’m giving myself what I think of as a Little No so that I can reach a Big Yes,  because it still feels like I’m saying, “No,” to myself.  I’m not. I’m saying, “Yes!” to something else.  I’m really taking a step toward a wonderful something.  But in that very moment I can feel deprived.

So much is about perspective.

Am I saying no to ice cream, or yes to keeping off the 50 pounds I lost?

Am I saying no to fancy coffee, or yes to saving for our vacation?

Am I saying no to new clothes, or yes to a new window for Sandra’s room?

I want yarn right now. I’m making pretend orders at the dining table.  A rainbow of sock yarn, to be specific.  I want half the fashions I see right now.  I want to paint the house.  I want to just sit around for a week and have someone else serve me for a change.  Oh, I covet.  I yearn.

But even more than yearning for possessions or ease, I yearn to nourish myself, I yearn to respect myself, I yearn for joyous connection with others, and I yearn to look back at this one life and approve of my choices.

A series of Little No-s on the way to Big Yes-es. They’re not really about saying, “No.”  What they really say is: “I’ve got better plans’.  That’s not deprivation.  That’s movement.

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13 thoughts on “Little No-s and Big Yes-es

  1. Rachel B. says:

    Thanks Sarah. Those were some amazing words. I agree that sometimes the little no’s are so hard. It’s so difficult to focus on the big yes when you want something in the moment. Thanks for the refocus.

  2. Erin says:

    I didn’t realize you were 34! I’m the same age. I married late though and my kids are still toddling about.

    I struggle with this as well. We are so consumer driven. Buy this and you’ll have friends like this, etc… It’s hard but keep focused. It’s all those little things that add up and move your big thing farther and farther away. Keep at it!

  3. Tara says:

    Oh, how I love this post! I really need to read this today. And tomorrow. And the next day. We had some terrible news this weekend that is coloring my whole world view. I really need to do some reflection on finding the yes in what feels like a really huge no.

  4. catalinakel says:

    This one belongs where you put the keepers. Brilliantly stated, and thoughtfully thought out. Growing up means saying no so that we can one day have the yes-es, right?

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