Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choices – Realizing what you are really saying Yes and No to?

Consider that every choice you make has an effect. Every time you say yes to something/one, you are saying no to something/one else. What you say yes to effects that which you say yes and no to and what your say no to affects that which you say no and yes to.

This little insight – or reminder – came today as I found myself having to say no to my honey, which is particularly challenging for me as he does SOOOO much for me that I truly appreciate. (Kisses Honey).

I'll give you some context and illustrate this point at the same time.

Here in Ottawa we are experiencing a bus strike. The unionized workers of our public transportation provider were not pleased with some of the conditions that were being proposed in their renewing contract. As a result of the changes the city wanted to make, they were saying yes and no to certain needs of their employees and their working conditions (I won’t go into those details). As a result, the union and employees said yes to fighting for the conditions they want to keep and no to the ones being suggested by the city. As a result of that, they said yes to a strike and no to providing public transportation to approximately 1 million people. This 1 million people includes their own neighbors, friends and family, therefore I can only imagine that this decision wasn’t made in haste. (BTW, I am not writing this to judge – my intention is to use this example to share a message).

As a result of the strike, thousands of people have had to change how they work and commute about the city. My partner, who regularly travels to work downtown by bus, has chosen to work from home most days, saying no to contributing to and driving in high traffic volumes and saying yes to being flexible, saving on gas, parking fees, time and so forth. Since I work from home as well, his saying yes to working from home has an impact on me. While this means saying yes to more frequent kisses throughout the day it also means saying yes to more distractions and no to productivity to some degree. Obviously the kisses aren’t an issue, however there are a number of other areas we’ve both said yes and no to in order to be flexible and accommodate each others needs during this time.

During the first couple of weeks, this was easy enough to do, however “easy” became “challenging” as the effects of the some of the YESES and NO’S continued to negatively affect my sense of productivity throughout each day. While it is very important to me to be flexible for my partner, I had to address what I was really saying yes and no to by doing so. I realized that by saying yes to being accommodating, in some cases I was saying no to having my needs for being productive met. It was time to start making some different choices in hopes that my Honey would understand and work with me (which of course he does!)

Bottom line, when we say yes or no to any one thing, by default or conscious choice we are saying yes and no to something as well. When we have a challenging time reconciling with our decisions or they become tough to follow through on, we need to take some time to acknowledge all that we've said yes and no to by making this choice – and then adjust accordingly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009