Friday, December 18, 2015

The Power of 'No'

Many of you may be offended by what I have to say and I truly do not care what you think.  This is my life, I only have one to live and I’m going to live it.
I’ve spent the past few years with regrets, most of which because I had to be responsible for making a choice and having a double booked calendar.  Thinking in the fall my team would have enough girls, and those girls would remain healthy I registered for running and cycling events, when later those events I could not participate in because I had to step in as a coach and play for the injured.  Events that were non-refundable.  This happened multiple years in a row and this year, because I turned 40 nothing, besides the weather, was going to stop me.  My goal from May thru November was to run and/or cycle in one or more events per month.  So I may have missed a graduation party, a birthday, I may have missed another softball tournament and practically a whole Sunday season (which I planned ahead for and had someone else manage the team).  I may have said, “No, I’m sorry, I have an event this weekend”, when you invited me to your bbq, or to go to a local wine tasting event. Thing is, I said “No” and by saying “No” empowered me to conquer my goals this year.  I cycled 62 miles, and ran my first 10K and those are two huge accomplishments for me this year.  How many others at 40 can say the same?  I put myself first, for the most part, this year, because honestly the events I was invited to and said “No” would not reimburse the money I put out.  I did this for me, for my competitive spirit, because this is who I am, I compete, I play hard, I still strive to be the best version of myself at 40 years old.  I hate to brag but I am the only person from my varsity team still playing softball.  
Many of you may argue that I have all this time to train, compete and play because I do not have kids.  That is true, but I always vowed if I did, I would never lose sight of who I was, how I got there.  Never again would I lose who I am for someone else.  I work nine hours a day, I commute about two hours and 10 minutes round trip on a good day, somehow I make the time.  I’ve always been a firm believer if you lose who you are, what you enjoy, you will lose your sense of self.  You will lose what drives you, what makes you tick.  I tried to live with no regrets until the regrets were costing me money, and another year older made me think I may not have much time left to compete like this.  Saying “No” is empowering, it enabled me to have an enjoyable year so far.  We do not always have to do what is socially expected, we do not always have to follow the crowd, we do not always have to do what we’ve done the same time every single year and we do not have to live a life someone else is dictating.  So I choose to say “No” this weekend, and snag another bib number to my wall of fame.  Don’t hate me for saying “No” because I’m choosing to conquer my goals, support me by wishing me well and not crossing me off the list of invitees for next time.
People have this FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome, when in theory the only fear they have is missing out on their own life as it continues right before their very eyes.  We only have one life to live…so live it as you wish.


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