The Defiance of Saying No

Because trees are about growth and so is saying No.

For the past two weeks, my husband has been in training. Now, “training” in my world is a trip on the company to a cool city to attend a conference that basically fronts for a genetic counselor reunion bash. The most exercise I get involves the 100 yard dash from my hotel to the Exhibit Hall and shivering violently in over air conditioned meeting rooms. The evenings are filled with Happy Hours (sometimes during the conference), dinner at any restaurant in said cool city that’s been on TV, and late nights of drinking, dancing, and sometimes singing (don’t ask).

This is SO not my husband’s training.

His training consists of 4:30am wake up calls followed by hours of physical exertion mixed in with frantically taking notes while cramming down a meal or two. In the past two weeks, he’s lost 15 pounds, made it upright to 8pm only once, and consumed more food and Gatorade than I thought humanly possible. There’ve been a few days where English has eluded him and I’ve started to worry the oxygen dep may be causing permanent damage to his brain. In short, this training blows.

But he does not complain.

And that is truly baffling to me. So, not to go all Colin Kaepernick on you, but I would stand up when this man walked in the room much less when the National Anthem plays. That kind of dedication deserves some solidarity.

So these past two weeks, I said No. I said no to dinner with friends, yoga classes, and late nights watching football. I said no to alcohol (I’m resuming wine today, don’t get scared), 8pm dinners, and having him fend for himself. In short, if it happened after 5:30pm, I said No. I came home. I made dinner. I did dishes. I took the dog out. I put him to bed, and I got in next to him and read a book.

I have a close friend that when asked why he married his wife, shrugged, looked over at her and said “That’s my ride or die chic.” That has always stuck with me as the best reason to get married and my personal goal as a wife. This week, I said no to everything else. I said yes to being my husband’s ride or die chic.

And it was hard, and easy, all at the same time. It required planning and serious flexibility. It necessitated whittling down our activities to only those we wouldn’t have a chance to do again; those things that couldn’t be rescheduled. We raced in the Dragon Boat Festival (and WON!), went to a friend’s birthday dinner, and are going to a wedding. That’s it.

The Best Little OarHouse in Tennessee

You know I learned something from this, right? I mean, hell, I didn’t give up alcohol for two weeks for my sanity. So, without further ado…Life lessons learned from saying No:

  1. You really do sleep better without alcohol. It’s a bummer, but it’s true.
  2. I now understand why losing 15 pounds in two weeks is unrealistic. If that’s what’s required of me, I choose fat.
  3. People won’t hate you for saying no. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care if they did.
  4. Missing one yoga class will not make or break your fitness routine for the week. It made me want to kill someone on the drive home, but “Namaste” to him too.
  5. There’s deep satisfaction in being in the background, in facilitating the achievement of another’s goal.
  6. It is HARD to get dinner on the table before 8pm, especially if you actually cook it! How in the world do you mom-like people do that?!?
  7. Almost everything and everyone will take a rain check. When time and energy are at a minimum, focus on those things that don’t have a “next time”.
  8. I like reading. I’ve missed it. I must find time for it every week.
  9. My husband is my hero. Stand up, sit down, roll over, I don’t care. He’s your hero too whether you honor it or not.