My partner and I have had a manically busy working week and I wanted to squeeze in a quick visit to the pool today before picking the children up from school.
We were on our way out the door when he received a phone call from a friend-of-a-friend asking him for some IT advice.
Rather than suggesting they call back at a more convenient time (or better still, pay someone to sort it out), he spent 30 minutes working his virtual magic, while I was left clicking my heels.
I can't complain. One of the many reasons I love him is because of his kindness, but I did wonder why, when we were so busy, he didn't say no.
But if I'm honest with myself, I realize that I often agree to things I don't want to do, purely to make someone else happy.
We all have commitments we need to honor--money has to be made, bills paid, and families looked after--but ultimately, the person we should be striving to make the happiest is ourself.
Does that make you feel uncomfortable? If it does, it's time to look at why.
We're told from a very young age to share, to be kind to others, but we're never taught to put our own wants first.
We're led to believe it's wrong to eat lunch and play alone at school. Consequently, it feels more natural to be in the company of others, even if we aren't enjoying it.
We carry around this unhealthy belief that to put ourselves first is selfish and wrong.
There's a difference between loving and respecting ourselves and being selfish. Being restful and being lazy are not the same. Being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things.
Look at the week you've planned and ask yourself how your schedule makes you feel. Are there things that make you anxious that you're reluctant to do, or things you've chosen that bring you happiness?
If you're fulfilled and free of resentment, light will shine from you and reflect on everyone you encounter.
Make sure you regularly schedule some YOU time. If you feel uncomfortable saying no, try saying, "I'll get back to you."
Next time saying no to someone else's needs means saying yes to your own, ditch the guilt, take a deep breath and be true to yourself.