Going Green-ish


Preserving yourself by learning to say no

Going green could mean a lot of things. Is it having a green thumb? I can barely keep a cactus alive. Is it recycling? Have you tried to load a vehicle with a bunch of cans and bottles with a cranky toddler? Is it grocery shopping with reusable bags? You know the ones that you remember are in the back of your vehicle the moment you’re up in line at the checkout.

Going green generally means pursuing knowledge and practices that lead to more environmentally sound and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, but I also think we can treat our bodies better with a similar mindset. Specifically, self-care.

I guess you could call it “going green-ish.”

Seems like our society is just beginning to learn the benefits of self-care. I learned the hard way. At one point in my life I found myself to be agitated, angry and impatient with people. Not a good mix for waiting tables. I analyzed my influences. I was surrounded by energy zappers and negative people. I had lost my normally happy self. I decided to break ties with anyone who didn’t bring joy to my life. It was a hard line that included deleting them from my contact list and eliminating personal interaction. If it were a coworker, then I minimized interpersonal communication. I remained cordial and respectful, but I kept it professional only.

Then came the practice of the word no. I spent a year saying it out loud in every fashion that I could. I would imagine scenarios where I would rework them by simply saying no. I think back fondly of the day I was put to the test. There was a young college student coworker who only interacted with me when he wanted something. I saw him approaching from across the restaurant. Being aware of the time of year, I knew it was finals week. The week where the procrastinators needed time off to study for exams. My palms were sweaty, my heart started racing, I stared at the floor nervous that I would be confronted with some desperate attempt to get me to pick up a shift with no consideration. And boom – before the person got to the second sentence of his plea, I simply said a stern yet controlled no. I was just as shocked as he was. He began to stutter a rebuttal, but in my nervousness I scurried off as far away as I could. I think I pretended to go to the necessary room.

No. The shortest sentence. No. Sometimes the most difficult word to utter. But that no can help you in so many ways to keep your inner peace. And that is one of the ways that you can help restore your own environment.


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