Saying no to good things

One of the things about John's and my relationship is that we've found it runs better when we are committed to spending four nights a week at home together and have a date night each week. The reason is that we discovered (really late) that there is no quality time without quantity time and that intimacy is built in the mundane moments of sharing a life together. An evening routine of cooking dinner, talking about our day, walking the dogs and snuggling on the couch--as simple as it seems--is restorative.

What that means, is that we say "no" to a lot of good things (girls/guys nights, church events, sports leagues, shows) in order to say "yes" to the better thing (us).

(If you are curious, John has a softball night with the guys and I have a yoga night for me and travel for work or building servers after hours means it isn't a perfect system.)

When the kids were in elementary school, I always felt like we were "saying no to good things."  We live in North Dallas where the opportunities for children are endless, but it made our lives feel hectic.  Disconnected. And eventually we made the kids pick one good thing and let the rest go. We found it was better when not every moment of their days were programmed.

The problem with too many good things is that it diminishes enjoyment.  We start "bearing gifts as if they are burdens." 

Why is it hard to say no? I think it is because we believe in scarcity. That there isn't enough to go around.  That if we don't grab it now it wont be there later.

The thing is there are a lot of shiny objects to grab.  So many, in fact, that we can get distracted from the good things that have less fanfare. Choosing what nourishes us...what creates a discipline. And I've learned it is a choice that really pays off.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall