Guilt and The Art of Saying No

I wanted to write this blog post as a way to help anyone
who is struggling with some of these things that I
have recently learned...

Saying no is hard for me. I'm definitely people-pleaser
who likes to make others happy, and I feel a huge
sense of guilt when I have to turn down
invitations and cancel plans.

Last year, my young, small business exploded in ways
I couldn't have dreamed of... I was working every
minute. Hardly sleeping, skipping workouts,
never cleaning my little house or making dinner.

My sites were getting about 15,000 hits every month which
was up from about 100 per month when I first started
blogging. So I mean, it wasn't 15 million, but for me,
that was cool. It was also a crazy jump for a person
whose social circles only months before involved
my husband and a few weekly phone calls
to my sisters.

It was exciting, and I was loving every new opportunity,
but I found myself forced to say no, no, and no, so
many times because it wasn't physically possible
-there just wasn't enough time- for me to make
everyone happy.  All the while, I would feel
increasingly guilty.

During this time though, I did learn how to be highly organized,
how to manage time like a pro, and how to really run a
successful business. Saying no started to get easier,
but the guilt that I felt wouldn't go away. And worst
of all, when my husband would say he'd rather I stay
home than travel or that he wanted me to take a day
off to spend with him, I would cite necessary hard
work and my growing business.

That was the worst guilt of all.

The new year came around and we had some serious talks about
 the stress I was forcing on us and what we both wanted
from our relationship. Jared was always supportive and
worked hard as well to help me reach my dreams, but he
also helped me realize that I was putting the successes
of my business before our marriage and that was a big
deal... and extremely selfish of me. He was giving and
I was taking and it wasn't right and neither of us
felt very happy.

It was hard for me at first to prioritize people and opportunities.
I had to learn to not only look at the big picture - where I was
taking my new-found career - but at the whole picture - the
story that I wanted for our life.

I'm happy to say that I'm now in remission. ;) There are still times
when I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do
and the amount of people still asking me to do, do, do, visit,
attend, plan, give, organize and do some more. But when I
remember that my #1 is my husband and his happiness,
decision-making becomes a yummy piece of cake.

I realize that I didn't have to put all of this personal info out there
on my blog, but I'd like to be honest and real over here on I also know that sometimes, when I am
going through certain things, it helps to find another
person also experiencing the same point in their life.
So I thought that maybe if it could help a relationship
here or there if a person would really look at the big
picture and see what I've seen, it would be worth it.