Don't we all need a little more time in our schedules to just make cinnamon rolls? :-)

Three Months of Saying NO {And What Cinnamon Rolls Have to Do with It}

College life, for me, has been an abandoned, and exhilarating foray into exhaustion.

The A’s on my report card are made up of sleepless nights, large doses of tea and coffee, and a few tears. I have successfully balanced being a performer with my academics, but other areas have suffered miserably.

I am so glad I have been able to be so involved on this campus however even good things need moderation and this past January I took a vow to say no this year.

I gulped down my pride, and people pleasing personality {say that one ten times fast!} and did not audition for the spring show. I bit my tongue every time someone asked something of me, and instead of blithely and wearily saying yes, took some time to think about it. I have been slowly navigating these rough waters of saying no for three months now, and I have to tell you I am hooked. I have noticed so many improvements in my life because of this minor change, and I want you to experience this freedom too.

Here are a few wacky and wise boons of limiting my closet of activities in the hopes that you might be inspired, or at the very least, amused:

Saying No, or at least “let me think about it” for a few days has really bolstered my self-discipline in all areas of my life. If self-discipline is like a muscle this simple act of mindfulness when it comes to my schedule has acted like bicep curls for my entire life. I am the Silvester Stallone of Self-Discipline (cue Rocky theme music).

I have realized how imperative cinnamon rolls are to me. Not cinnamon rolls themselves, but actually having the time to make them. From scratch. With rising time. I remember one semester where I just craved cinnamon rolls. All. The Time. I am no psychologist {I leave that to my Dad!} but I realized what I really wanted was not the gooey, buttery delights–but rather five hours on a Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Any day. To just spend baking. Without rushing. I didn’t want the cinnamon rolls as much as I wanted the time in my schedule. And these days I actually have time to bake rather than dream about baking.

Making time for exercise is always worth it, especially if you eat a lot of cinnamon rolls. You know that it was a good workout when your arms shriek in misery when you turn the steering wheel, right? I have not regularly exercised since going to college, and I have to tell you that it feels–ouch, I mean—good.

I have had time to volunteer, and help out others. Over spring break Warrior Man and I ran tech for the fabulous melodrama my parents do every year. It was wickedly fun. Just like budgeting money, if I am smart with my resources then I can give more to others.

I have time to wear clean clothes. Don’t underestimate the incredible mood-lifting nature of just being able to keep up with laundry. Powerful stuff, my friends.

This year I have taken control of my schedule, instead of letting it take control of me, and every twinge of awkwardness has been worth the cushion of peace I am enjoying.

One Caveat: I do understand that there are times in life when you really cannot cut anything out. Maybe you are a single Mom, or taking care of  your parents, or are just committed to a lot of things. If that is the case, take heart! This season will pass, I do encourage you to hang in there, and try to create a feeling of rest even by just drinking a cup of coffee every day or going on a short walk.

Give yourself a few minutes every day to smell the roses or, you know, eat a few cinnamon rolls. Trust me, you will be glad you did.

14 thoughts on “Three Months of Saying NO {And What Cinnamon Rolls Have to Do with It}”

  1. Pingback: My Ten Favorite Recipes Right Now | Dandelion Pie

  2. I am a people pleaser so saying no can be hard for me. But I have found life goes so much smoother when I make sure I actually have time for the commitments I do make. Now I want to go make some cinnamon rolls…..maybe my boys and I will do that tonight! 🙂

  3. Good for you. Learning this now is so much easier than forty frazzled years later. I’m guessing you even shared with others. Kneading is good exercise too 😉

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love what God showed you through the “nos”. Just that time is precious! That every moment we have a choice. That we don’t have to do everything and be everything for everyone is so huge. It’s not what God asks us to do. He has a special purpose and plan for all of us. Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  5. You’ve done better at keeping up with The Year of “No” than have I, dear daughter. I do have a renewed vision, though, of how sweet those extra minutes can be every day. I know exactly what you mean by having enough time to make cinnamon rolls. Or runzas. Or something grand in the kitchen, just because you have the time to do it!

  6. I agree that there is something magical about being able to bake with rising time and enjoy it without stressing over everything that needs done. Saying “no” is so powerful and transformative. I’ve taken strives toward this lately as well. Being pregnant helps. 😉 People request less when they look at my swollen feet . . . But I know Mitch and I are in for a lot of changes and “no” in our future with a newborn. I don’t think it has sunk in yet how it will change our world. We have two big trips within the first 3 months of her life, a mission trip (I may have to say no to), and church camp (which I will say yes too because it will get me out of the Phoenix heat and into the pine-filled mountains with Rebekah). I do remember in college my junior and senior year as I started to say “no” to extra activities how tough it was. Unfortunately, I tried to cram in more than I should, which left me saying “no” to friendships that I wish I would have poured into more. I pray this spring semester is truly a blessed one for you!

  7. Say no to what? To help a neighbor? To swing a child? To go out with friends? No sure if you mean extra-curricular activities or not. If I had to say no, it would be to eating a cinnamon donut. I don’t need the extra calories.

    1. Oh, Emilie, I do understand. It is so very difficult, isn’t it? I would just encourage you to start small. Even saying no to one activity in your life might ease the pressure a bit. Also, don’t forget that when you say no to an opportunity that means someone else (who might have always wanted to teach a Bible class, go on a field trip, sew twenty three dragon costumes) gets the chance to step up. Courage!

Leave a Reply. I read every comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.