Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Saying No

It's dark and cold outside with a snow/rain mix falling on the farm hills in North Idaho and this is the favorite kind of weather for me to bake.  My farmhouse smells heavenly with the aroma that only chocolate cake can produce. The Chocolate Rootbeer cake is a request from my oldest daughter, Jen as we are having a January birthday bash this week-end celebrating hers and two of the grand-angel's birthdays.  As the kitchen was already showing the results from my baking efforts,  I thought what-the-heck I'll try out a new recipe from a cookbook that an author wanted me to test out and promptly picked out Blondies. So as I was happily making a bigger mess in my favorite room in the house, I realized the recipe called for coconut.  After searching at least three times in my messy pantry and dis-organized freezer, I unhappily conclude  there is no coconut to be found, so I add butterscotch chips as I think the recipe says this an an adaptable one with it's ingredients... and then realize, eeeek maybe butterscotch chips and cranberries don't go together. And so, I will wait to post the recipe in case this is my less-than-stellar-baking effort.  All the while as I was searching for the coconut, I was secretly wishing I was as organized as Martha Stewart and thought this guest blog would be a good one not only for me but maybe you might like it too. And with trying to keep my new year resolutions to be more organized so I could spend more time connecting with family, friends and my wonderful readers sometimes we have to learn to say no to keep our balance. And I know that I am not the only one as  just today I received  an email from my good friend, Pam Fretwell, Farm Journal special projects editor lamenting that her day was far from being organized too.  Pam is this super woman that crams so much into a moment that it makes my head swirl.  So if Pam thinks she isn't organized, well there is hope for us mortals! Yippee!!
My baking efforts.. Blondies and the 2 un-glazed Chocolate Rootbeer Cakes
But on a serious note, I was proud of myself for realizing I was stretched too thin between work/family/social and volunteerism and resigned (just last night) my volunteer marketing chair position for Chicks n Chaps. And it was hard, but in order to keep a better balance in my life, I had to decide what to trim and that was on the chopping block.  And with that, enjoy this short but good perspective guest blog.  In fact I think I am going to buy the book as I think Dr. Kulaga may have written it just for me...... =)

Women: How to Say ‘No’ during the
Holidays (& Year-Round)
Acclaimed Therapist Offers Perspective on Managing a
Woman’s Many Roles
Men expect more than women when it comes to “having it all,” according to a new study by Citi and LinkedIn titled, “Today’s Professional Woman Report.”
More men than women define the good life as including a strong and loving marriage with children – 79 percent, compared to 66 percent of women. And 9 percent of women do not include personal relationships in their pursuit of success – up from 5 percent in the previous survey.
“This study may be an indicator not so much that women want less than men; it may simply mean that women are feeling overwhelmed by the many roles they accept in life, and they believe wanting a happy work-life balance is asking for too much,” says Dr. Jaime Kulaga, a practicing therapist, life coach and author of “Type ‘S’uperWoman – Finding the Work-Life Balance: A Self-Searching Book for Women,” (
“In fact, I haven’t met a woman in my life who hasn’t taken on an exponential amount of roles – far more than is good for any one person. From wife to professional to cook to chauffeur, women simply do not know how to say no, even when they want to.”
While the holiday season is supposed to be a time when family members rejoice with family and free time, Dr. Kulaga says women often dread this time of year because of the additional roles to be taken on. She offers perspective for why saying “no” more often is good for them.
• An inability to say “no” is based in fear. Why can’t we just say no? It’s because we’re afraid of the consequences. Mostly, we are afraid of feeling guilt, feeling a sense that we are diminished in the eyes of others and, overall, that we will somehow lose something. Decisions based in fear, however, are often negative ones as they tend to be entrenched in irrationality or impulsivity. Try to decide things based on what you want, and not what you’re attempting to avoid.
• Women who can’t say “no” have less, not more; be mindful. Mindfulness is an excellent way to pare down the number of roles so many women assume; it’s the antidote for women who smile and nod “yes” when their brains are screaming “no,” and then go into the bathroom to cry. There is plenty of talk about women who “want it all” – and we can have it all, if we focus on what is really important and narrow the list of roles down to a manageable number.
• By saying “no” to some things, you’re saying “yes” to others. As mortal individuals, our time and resources are limited. We simply cannot take on all the roles others would have us accept and still have time for the things that truly matter to us. Working late each night, for example, means having less time for your family – or yourself! When women list their priorities, it’s almost always in relation to the needs of others, and not themselves. It’s not only OK, it’s healthy  to want time and other things for oneself!
Dr. Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D, LMHC, CPC

Motivated by watching those she coaches become successful and with a true passion for helping others, Dr. Jaime Kulaga earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and  master’s and doctorate’s in counseling. As a licensed mental health counselor and certified professional coach, she has a special interest in the complex lives of today’s women. She serves as a go-to expert resource for Bay News 9, the Tampa Bay area’s 24-hour news channel, and as a coach for individuals, couples and business people.   

Well it's off to bed for this farm-chick! As always, thank you for stopping by & feel free to email me if you have any questions/thoughts or leave a comment as I am just a click away at  All my best, Gayle.  

No comments :

Post a Comment