Just say 'No'... to 'No'

Week 34: Just Say No - I will find something I routinely do and just say no to it.

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Just say 'No'…. to 'No'

Looking at my daily routine there are few things that I can really say ‘No’ to without seeming overly churlish or without allowing total chaos to descend. Looking at it through the eyes of this challenge, I realise it already is pretty pared down to the bare essentials and with our children aged 4 and 2, letting them loose to put themselves to bed, feed and tidy up after themselves would only result in extremely overwrought kids, high on rice-crispies and yogurt and a house that.. well to be honest, wouldn’t look much different. So taking a leaf out of Vanessa’s sometimes experimental methodologies and Mark’s ‘Yeah, yeah’ positivity, I will twist this around a little bit and start to say ‘No’ to saying ‘No’ which is where my problem really lies.

So with this as my new plan, the whole week now beckoned as one big exciting adventure. I planned a one day road trip to Rotterdam to support my sister at the Rowing World Champs as she just missed out on Rio, something I wouldn't normally do because, really, driving over 10 hours to spend 2 hours watching some rowing races is just silly especially with a 4 year old in tow. I decided to run 25Km (on a once a week training program) to see if I have the stamina and will to take my husband’s marathon spot as he is injured. To stop finding reasons as to why, not to do, my 20 mins of duolingo, the language learning app, a day. To not allow myself to be riddled by anxiety as soon as I wake but instead to look forward and enjoy the time I am lucky enough to have with the kids.

So as with all great plans, some things worked others didn’t. The run was completed in the rain even as my body begged for mercy. Wooo hooo, the longest I have ever run! I hit a 5 day duolingo streak, my current record, I spent a lovely day taking a nature walk with the kids seeking out Peter Rabbit and the Gruffo and just doing things they wanted and not worrying about timings, naps etc. and while the Rotterdam road trip sadly failed to materialise, there was still a positive. While planning it, I emailed an old school friend who has moved to the Netherlands from Australia hoping that we could catch up. I’ve always admired how positive, happy and balanced she seems and she wrote something that really stuck out for me, she said they were ‘embracing being back in Europe’. So if there is one thing to take out of this week it’s that… just appreciating and embracing the small things, which I think is what the Great Wake Up is all about.



I currently live in London but having been born in Canada, lived in Nigeria until my early teens and schooled in Scotland, if you ask me where I am from, I will struggle for a quick answer. I am an excellent self-saboteur and use humour and a practiced laissez-faire attitude as a shield to having to address difficult situations properly. The ‘Great Wake Up’ is me, finally trying to step clear of my overdeveloped protective mechanisms, and to start to interact as closely and honestly to life around me and enjoy myself whilst doing so.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
about 5 years ago
yeah-yeah. I always love reading your posts, always a treat. Just like Jacqui you have a mountain of things to do in your life - I always admire people with a million and one things to fit into their day because even if at the time things seem strained you are truly living your life and shouldn't lose sight of that - you are living. Please keep on posting - they resonate with me and everyone else and I missed them when you've clearly been too busy. And 25K? I'm impressed again. Take care.
Go to the profile of Vanessa
about 5 years ago
Sounds like a great week (well, maybe not running in the rain...)! It's funny what happensin life when you say "oh, go on then".
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
about 5 years ago
Wow Vicki, what a great week. Sounds like you found things that hit the spot. Impressive running challenge too! C x