"Learn to say 'no'. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin."~ Charles H. Spurgeon
It is a hard thing to do, this reprogramming your head. I have always been programmed to assist, work hard, do what it takes, give 100+%. To turn people down when they ask for help or a favor is running the risk of disappointing them or losing their approval, at least I thought. More importantly, I had to learn to deal with my own disappointment. Would I lose my friends' and family's love? No, but would they understand? It was hard for them at first, too, I grant you that. This was a role neither they, or I, were used to or comfortable with. To their credit, after some adjustments to be sure, they have all stepped up to the plate, "manned up", and have eased my burden, which means less stress and wear and tear on me physically and mentally, which means fewer and less severe flares.
The funny thing is, the more I learn to say "no", the easier it gets. At the holidays, our family has kept many of our traditions, but some we've let go of. And you know what? It's all okay. In fact, it's fine. We concentrate on enjoying each other more, laughing and doing things together, instead of just doing because that what we've always done before. I don't cook like I used to; neither do I clean constantly. Time is short and I have learned that cleaning my floors every two weeks or even once a month is just fine! Dust is a protective covering for our furniture, my older sister once told me, and she is so right! I don't let the house become nasty but if the towels are folded tomorrow instead of today, I have the right to put it off. I give myself permission to go have fun first! The chores and household duties will still be there the next day or the day after; the chance to go play with grandkids or Ed or friends may not! Seize the day!
"Learn to say 'no' to the good so you can say 'yes' to the best."~ John C. Maxwell