Monday, February 20, 2012

The Power of the Word NO

No. It is such a simple word, but it is one of those words that we are often so hesitant to use. Why can’t we say no? Is it a weakness or a strength to admit that whatever it is being asked is just something we cannot simply do right now? People say no for all sorts of reasons, and I am not talking about the “I-don’t-really-want-to-have-sex-with-you-right-now” kind of no either. I am talking for the countless requests for help that are so difficult to turn down. People ask me to do things all the time. Just in this past week, I have been asked to do at least twenty “favors” for people. Can I come over for dinner? Can I borrow a book? Can you help me edit this document? Can you babysit? Can we talk? Since I am not superwoman, I can’t possibly do all these extras and still get the day-to-day things done. I have had to learn to say no. There are delicate ways to turn someone down, and there are asinine ways to do it. I have found that the best way to say no is to suggest an alternative helper. “Oh, I won’t be able to do that, but you could ask Mary Sue. She’s really good at those types of things.” Hehehe… I have learned to say no. I have learned to turn people away with grace and charm. My husband, however, would still benefit from some lessons. People are always asking a lot of him…simply because he won’t say no. They know if they ask, he will do. I can’t guarantee it will be done correctly or even completely, but he will give it the old college try. Therefore, the next time someone asks you to help shine their shoes or just change a tire, if you can’t, you can’t. There’s no shame in saying no. It’s all about the approach anyway. Leave them feeling like they are the ones who are rewarded for you saying, “Not this time, sucker!”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Mountain Fire

Happiness lies in the whispering wind, just beyond the charred trees.
Crossing a path consumed by fire, nature’s vengeful greed,
how terrifyingly fragile we must be.
The forest’s voice cries out in the night
as the charred flesh of the branches peels away.
The trees swaying in the darkness, moaning in fright,
we embrace their fear and begin to pray.
Mountain rain sizzles against the burning flame
as plumes of smoke rise to the sky, marking their claim.
The scarred mountain bleeds, its wounds deep
but the mountain people love it no less.
Instead of turning away from the marked face,
they turn to fill its need.
Banding together against the fiery wind, words of prayer rise to the skies
chanting a healing song as the fire dies.
The people of the mountains know well nature’s wrath
but they also know how to clear their once well beaten path.
People who save, people who care,
with their quiet words, these are the people who dwell there.
The fire’s ring leaves homes untouched but people protected,
the mountain claiming its own, creating its own circle of magic.
For those standing outside, it appears that
happiness lies in the whispering wind, just beyond the charred trees.