This quote sums it up well for me: The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Choosing to say no to another request for volunteer time or financial support or another holiday gathering is saying yes to those commitments that you’ve already made. It’s giving yourself permission to have limits and for that to be ok. Vickie Iovine once wrote “You can have it all, just not all at once and depending on what your definition of all is” … I read those words when my daughter was very small. They’re no less true now (10 years and a couple thousand miles later) than they were when I first read them.
It’s sort of ironic that we’re inculcated in the mind-set of “just say no” as kids as a way to fortify ourselves against risky behaviors … but nobody warned us that when we became moms, wives, professionals, adult students, volunteers, that we would need that same “just say no” Nancy Reagan-esque approach to maintaining an effective balance between sleep deprivation and sanity.