One of my favorite things about books is discussion. Fiction is my preference for reading, but I enjoy a good discussion on life topics. And I have a number of favorite authors who write on relevant topics. The most recent is The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst. The premise of the book is that our day-to-day schedule works off of our ability to use two words, Yes and No. I read and discussed this book weekly with friends and found those who were in the same boat as me, plus those who were already good at saying no and really helped me.
I do not consider myself a people pleaser, although that would be one reason a person would say yes to more than he/she should. As I read this book and thought about it, I knew that I just like to help people. If I can help, or make a way to help, I will. Saying no felt like I was telling the person I didn't care or didn't want to help, when that's not what a no necessarily means. And I never considered the strain that put on me until a few years ago when I had a new teaching schedule that took up more time than usual. I did everything I usually did plus the extra work stress and always felt frazzled, which made me realize I've felt this frazzled-ness off and on before that.
Begin the Week with Words (aka Sunday Sentence).
The book has helped. No, it's not like I no longer struggle with saying no, but I've made progress. I've pinpointed the things I feel are my current priorities in life and focus on them. I've been able to say no to things that seem very simple to some, but are a big deal for me! And I've also been learning that I don't have to give an excuse for everything I say no to. No is no and that's all there is to it. Sometimes the reason isn't always something I can share with others anyway and I end up sounding stupid trying to semi explain.
As a side note, author Lysa Terkeurst is a wife and mother of five, and also the President of the Christian Women's organization called Proverbs 31 Ministries. Regardless of what your stance on God is, TerKeurst's books are always on relevant topics all women face. Books of hers I'd recommend are Made to Crave (about eating) and Unglued (about losing your cool - see my review here). She also has a great set of marriage books, one for husbands called Capture Her Heart, and one for wives called Capture His Heart (my mini review here).
I'd have to say reading The Best Yes is one of my best yeses this year. Anyone else read any good books helping you with life topics?