Feel good about saying no when you need to

Feel goodI’m often asked to give a dollar, spare change or a few hours of my time.

I enjoy giving, and there are so many ways to give. I volunteer my time throughout the year to a few organizations. A friend of mine recently had her very first book published, and I donated a copy of it to the local library yesterday. There, at the library, her message and advice might be useful to hundreds or even thousands of people. How amazing is that?! I walked out of the building with a spring in my step!

I signed up for The Color Run Miles for Meals virtual 5K. Three meals will be donated to people who need them and I have a reminder to continue exercising through the winter.

Although I sometimes say yes to giving, I often say no. Why? My resources are precious, and when I give, I want to be all-in. Giving fully is more enjoyable than giving halfheartedly … for everyone involved.

A few days ago, while loading my items onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store, the woman in front of me lost it when the cashier asked her to donate a dollar to the store’s charity of the day. She became defensive, raising her voice while explaining that she carefully chooses what she gives all year long, and that she can’t give anything more than she already does.

“Okay,” the cashier said quietly, completing the rest of the transaction in silence.

I’ve done the same thing – that is, until I realized, I didn’t need to get so defensive about it. The cashier asks everyone. I worried what people thought of me. Gasp! Maybe they think I’m a cheapskate! Over time, I developed a response that doesn’t make me feel defensive or rude, but declines the offer.

When it was my turn, I smiled and said, “Not today, thank you.”

For me, that covers it. Perhaps I donated yesterday; maybe tomorrow, I will donate. But right at this moment, for this particular transaction, I am declining and it’s okay. I don’t need to explain my financial situation or yearlong plans for giving.

If we gave away all of our time and money, we wouldn’t be able to pay for our basic needs or take time to recharge. We’d be stressed out.

Giving is an amazing thing, and if you can give, do it! You’re making an impact, especially when it’s something that you strongly believe in, and you should feel proud.

Feel good about saying no, too. It means you’re taking care of yourself and your needs, so that when the right opportunity presents itself, you can give wholeheartedly.

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