A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Just Say No--or Not...

English: Decisions, decisions. The road on the...
 Decisions, decisions. The road on the left is the "Glen Road" running down towards Loch Avich.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        Some of my biggest lost opportunities came from me saying "no".   I've had some interesting offers in my life--a few that could have resulted in extraordinary outcomes, but not having taken advantage of those opportunities I will never know how they might have turned out.  Of course, my life having taken the course it has I'm in the place I was meant to be, therefore I harbor no regrets on what I've missed.   One thing I have gained a greater awareness of is that when opportunity knocks, I need to pay close attention to what my acceptance can lead to if I answer the call.

        No regrets is the mantra I live by.  After all, what's the point?   What could have been is apparently not what should have been and I have my present life to attest to that.   If I had not declined certain offers or stubbornly resisted others, I would undoubtedly be in a far different place than I am now.   That place might have been a good place--perhaps a better place than I am at this point in my life--or my place in life might not have gone so well.  Maybe I wouldn't even be here today.

         The word "no" can have great power.  Not only does rejecting an offer close a door to an opportunity, but this action can kill a friendship or prevent a new relationship from flourishing.  Those relationships might have amounted to great benefits or they might have been future difficulties averted by that little word "no".

         A tiny negative word such as "no" can be much bigger than one might think. Saying it is diverting ones course in life to the extent that we head into a very different direction that we might have hoped for ourselves or where others might have wanted us to go.    Sometimes we can go back to reconsider our choice.  Second chances can happen, but more often than not they don't.  Instead, we get different chances and new opportunities to set a course by saying "yes".

         I can't go back in my life to change my course and I'll never really know what might have happened if I had accepted some of the opportunities that came my way at the times they presented themselves.   Even if some of those opportunities came to me now at this stage of my life the outcome would not be the same as it might have been the first time they were offered to me.   The past is a haze of what could have been if I had not said "no".   My present is the result of my acceptance or rejection of my past decisions--or in some cases my indecisiveness.

          The future?   None of us can say for sure.  Hopefully any wisdom gained or lessons learned from  having said no, having said yes, or having delayed an answer until it was too late will guide us in coming up with the right responses to the next time we are given a chance to do something.  Life is short when we are at the point of retrospection.   As I head forward, the one thing I never want to say "no" to is life itself.

           Is there an offer in your past that you sometimes wish you would have said "yes" to?     Do you have a difficult time saying "no" even when doing so would be better for you?    What opportunity would you like for someone to offer you?


  1. I can't really think of anything I said no to that I wish I'd said yes, except every time I dismissed taking a day trip somewhere in Washington when I lived there. The traffic, distance, drive time and road construction was what deterred me and now I regret it. I don't think I have a tough time saying 'no' to people if I really don't want to do something. Someone in CA asked if she could use my car to move (I think I was busy that day and couldn't help, but my car wasn't being used). I told her no, that no one but me was driving that car and I wasn't lending it. She was shocked and said, 'wow you sure know your boundaries'. Well, yeah. I'm not letting some stranger put over 100 miles on my car and possibly getting a parking ticket or getting in an accident.

  2. When I was younger, I knew that was the time to take risks, and I did, such as coming to Canada. Most of my risks have paid off. My regrets are usually that I didn't spend more time with certain people who are now gone. . . Je ne regrette rien, a comment by Edith Piaf (I regret nothing) is a mantra to live by.

  3. I actually wish I'd said 'No' more times than I did. But I suppose experiences, even those not taken, are part of who we eventually become. Often, when speaking with clients I refer to the business as 'We' though I'm the only one running it! It works well whenever I have to decline a request. As for personal issues, I feel like I'd better have an excuse for saying no in case they won't ever ask again. However, sometimes I hope they don't ask at all :-)

    A long-time friend and I were recently discussing whether if knowing what we know now, with the chance to go back in time, would we do the same things again? We shared a hearty laugh and agreed we probably would.

    Have a great week!

  4. I bounce like a ping pong between yes and no. Lately I have learned that saying yes isn't half bad.

  5. I used to have a problem with saying no, and sometimes that worked out well but other times not so much. We can never know ahead of time how our choices will turn out. I'm just glad I said a risky and adventurous "yes" a few times because those are the choices that most enriched my life.

  6. Let's say there are things I wished I would've said no to.

  7. Saying "yes" to things as a knee jerk reaction, doesn't work out well either. We say yes to things that God has not equipped us for and then wonder how we got ourselves into the things we do. When asked, I try not to say "Yes" immediately to all the volunteer things possible, but give myself time to consider the opportunity. It seems to help.


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Arlee Bird