For the past year or so, I have been practicing the art of saying “No.” It has not been an easy task for me as I have been an over-doer for the majority of my almost 40 years. However, I had reached a point in my life where there was just too much going on and it was causing stress for my husband, my children, and me! So last spring, I decided to really think about all that I was committing to. Was it going to benefit my husband and children? Was it going to help me grow and become a better person? Was it going to add value and fun to my life? Was it something I was passionate about? Was it going to help others in my local community of friends? (Especially those who I knew needed true help.) If I could answer “YES” to most of these questions, then I gave serious consideration to participating/volunteering in the event. And if the answer was “NO,” to most of the questions, then I passed on that particular activity and promised myself to have no regrets.
The past year has brought more quality time with my family and friends as well as more time to focus on those in need. And you know what? I truly don’t feel like I have missed out on anything life has to offer. I have a full life. I am happy. And a happy mother makes for a happy home.
Last week I received a message from a friend who shared a beautiful creation by a very insightful 10 (and 3/4 as she insists) year old girl. Maddy wrote a most inspirational poem about living life and it truly connected with me on a deep emotional level as it’s the reason behind why I have been trying to practice the art of saying, “No” at this point in my life. I requested permission to share this inspirational poem with my readers because I think sometimes we all need to take some time to refocus and reflect on what is truly important to us in living our lives to the fullest. Thank you Maddy for your willingness to share. You have a beautiful talent and ability to convey your thoughts and insight (well beyond your 10 and 3/4 years). Thanks for the inspiration this week! You are blessed to realize such an important concept so early in your life. May you continue to inspire many others in your lifetime.
By Madaline Mae Oehmke, age 10¾
“The waves on the sand,
The cool water on my hand,
The birds and the bees,
The wind in the trees,
The sky painted red and pink,
Things like this can really make you think,
Life is a gift.
It is a treat,
That life is so sweet,
Because rushes of sadness would be hard to beat,
It would be a struggle to get your spirits to lift,
Let this remind you,
Life is a gift.
There are people who have suffered through emotional and physical pain,
Yet in the end there’s a valuable gain,
Whether it’s confidence in yourself or generous fate,
Either way, life is great,
Life is a gift.
God gave us life,
The best gift you can give,
So it’s best to really, and truly LIVE,
No matter which different way that you put it,
This puzzle piece will always fit,
This piece of advice,
Is more than nice,
So share it with a friend,
And remember it until the end,
Life is a gift,
So live it.”
And so I share this with you, my friends. “Life is a gift, so live it!”