Friday, February 3, 2017

The Power In Saying NO!

I know what you’re thinking; this is going to be about raising a child. Well no, actually its not, although I do feel strongly that all children should be told no and understand that being told no is apart of life. The world doesn’t need anymore-spoiled children who think the world should be handed to them on platter! But that is for another post entirely! Rather this is about us as a person, a woman, a mom!

My 2015 was a hot mess, my schedule so packed and jammed full of things/events that I felt like I didn’t have one minute to sit and enjoy life, let alone my very fast growing little boy! Don’t get me wrong I didn’t want to stop baking cakes for people or photographing all those darling faces, but something had to give because things I was passionate about started becoming burdens to me. That is when I heard someone talk about balance, that saying no is okay, normal, and even necessary! Saying no didn’t mean I was weak, or didn’t care; in all reality it is exactly the opposite! Saying no meant I am strong, it meant I actually care enough about you to know that I can’t dedicate all of my best work to you, that I don’t want you to get less than you deserve! 

So as 2016 rolled around, I made it my goal to say no more! Here is how I now look at things. Hopefully this can help you prioritize your life, take back balance, and enjoy life! I went over my commitments and looked at each new thing with this question: “Do I get to do this, or do I have to do this?” Do you see the difference there? Sure, sure you have your everyday duties like cleaning your house, changing diapers, folding laundry, which you may look at as things you have to do. But what if you thought about those things like this, yes you have to clean the house, but that’s because you are blessed with a house to keep you dry and warm. Yes you have to change those diapers, but you have a happy healthy baby that will soon be all grown!

The next question I posed to myself: “Does this fit into my week, with out sacrificing the things in my life that need me first (God, my family, my prior commitments- that bring me joy?” What I mean by this is what is already in my week that must stay. For example I have started going to bible study on Thursday mornings. That helps me grow in my walk and brings me oh so much joy. I also started doing story time at the library, which brings so much joy to my son, which in turn makes my heart full of joy as well! So I don’t want to interfere with those commitments, or fill myself so full that I fell like I can’t enjoy my time spent at these engagements because I am thinking of what I should be doing instead.

If they don’t pass those two questions then they don’t get written into my planner, or should I say typed into my Google calendar. The first many times I told someone no, I felt awful, because you see I don’t like to let people down. I want to believe that I can do it all, but that’s not healthy. I also didn’t want them to think that I was so busy that they don’t want to ask me next time because they don’t want to burden me.
 I even said yes to something and later realized I was doing it out of guilt and that it actually didn’t pass the question test. So what did I do? I called them back the next day, apologized and explained that I actually can’t fit that cake into my schedule. And guess what, they didn’t hate me, quite the opposite actually, they understood and said don’t worry we will try to book you next time around!
Yes I know some of you reading this are saying what is so hard about saying no?This is silly that there is a whole blog post about this! To you I say congratulations, I am so glad that this is not a struggle for you. To those like me, you got this, go take back your over -scheduled, run around 24/7 life!

This doesn’t just happen overnight! I am still working on it, but thanks to balance I now have a cleaning day every week, but you will never catch that word being thrown around here at the Zimmerman house, we instead call it “focus on the house day.” Yes that is much longer and complicated but the word “cleaning” is like nails being scrapped over a chalkboard to me. I think that’s partly why I avoided cleaning on a regular basis for so long. That’s just one of the many weird things that make me me! So much good can come of the word “no” that I am wondering why I let myself avoid it for so long. I now find joy in the cakes again, and I am smiling behind the camera as I photograph. So to those of you I said no to, I still want you to ask me, I want to fit you in but no longer will I be overbooking myself! Life is far too short to live without joy.

Thanks for reading,


Ashlee Zimmerman Hi, I am Ashlee a 27 year old, wife to Galen and mommy to Haidyn and Lincoln. A little about me… I love to create in all forms (photos, cakes, dinner, painting, weddings, and the list could go on and on). Coffee is my favorite food group, I love the color yellow, Sunflowers are my favorite flower, neat and tidy is not my strong point, I love people, and most of all I love being around my family! Back to the husband, we were married in 2008 and have lived in the same little rancher ever since, I love him dearly and he is truly my best friend! As for the kiddos, I have two spirited children so they keep me stepping! After my daughter was born I have gained a whole new appreciation for mothers with more than one kid, this is hard stuff!


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