Life is Short – Just Say No (And Don’t Forget to Say YES too!)

Elisabet Ney Sculpture

Elisabet Ney's Formosa

This last week marked one year from the day my father passed away. It’s been the toughest year of my life. I’ve learned many profound and enlightening things about myself, my family, and my world.

Of all the things I learned, though, one stands out. It’s the power of a perfectly placed “no.”

Shedding the requirement of pleasing others has made me a better writer and a happier person. Fear melts away and guilt disappears when you decide that living for what makes you happy is a noble purpose.

I used to say that “life is too short” and in many ways, Dad’s death brought that out in stark relief.

But there’s another side to all that, you know. Life is too long to not say yes, too. For all the times you’ve seen people staying in jobs that dull their senses, making them too tired to play with their kids. For all the times you’ve witnessed an angry, bitter old man on a park bench with not even a touch of joy in his ample years. For all the times any of us have put off something we’ve “always wanted to do”. Isn’t that simply too long?

Let’s keep it real here – you can answer this alone or in public, but answer it, please. How many times have you watched pablum TV to tune out, or read someone else’s work with envy, or criticized your artistic ideas like a harsh task master instead of birthing them with love and care? When was the last time you unabashedly said “YES!”?

For many, it’s even harder to do than to say no. So, today I celebrate both sides of the coin. Wanna flip that baby and see which side comes up? I am.

Keep writing!

Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher

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