Two years ago I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month. Participants of NaNoWriMo commit to writing a 50,000+ word novel during the month of November. A few days early, I celebrated having written my first novel. Today, that novel is in the hands of agents who may be able to help me see it on book shelves one day. It was an experience I’ll never forget. NaNoWriMo pushed me to accomplish a dream I never thought possible as a mom of a youngster and a wife of a husband who worked really long hours.
This year, when prompts for NaNoWriMo started filling my inbox and social media feeds, I mindlessly reacted with “Yea! Let’s do it! I’ve finished one, I can do another!” But I immediately felt restless about the decision. A soft “No, not this time,” thumped in my heart. Saying “no” in today’s culture is so difficult, don’t you think? If you have a handle on this, high five! Not me. Just this school year, I’ve added library volunteer and Girl Scout Troop Leader to my already full plate.
In response to this soft prompting in my heart, I’ve decided to make this month NO-vember. Obviously, I can’t stop commitments already in motion, but I’m not adding anything else. Instead, I’m leaving space for God to fill any leftover time with Him. I’m going to meditate and journal on thankfulness, though refuse to put any exact goal to it (i.e. every day). I’m going to simply be with my family. I’m going to enjoy the approaching holiday season for what it’s meant for instead of what society tells us it should be.
To everything there is a season
and a time for every purpose
under the heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3.1
If I get a few pages or chapters written in book two this month, great. If not, that’s okay. If I start baking seasonal treats, it will be because I want to teach my daughter family recipes, not because I feel like I “should” bring treats to share at work. If I get some Christmas shopping done, it will be because I saw the perfect gift for a loved one, not because I hustled around Target one Saturday on a mission with a check list.
I will enjoy this month. I will say “no” to anything that doesn’t add quality to my day. I hope you’ll consider joining me.
How would your life be different if you said “no” this month? What possibilities would that open up?