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Live boldly, laugh and make art

Make time in your day to create. Just say no.

Make time in your day to create. Just say no.

Did you know that you can’t do everything?

Life is busy. There are dishes to clean, clothes to wash, and litter boxes to empty. Well, at least, I have litter boxes. We have four cats and seven litter boxes.

Did you know there are only 24 hours in a day? Did you know part of that time it is a good idea to sleep? And as suggested by The National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need from 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

You can’t do it all.

No, you can’t volunteer for everything; you can’t please everyone, and  you can not stay awake forever.

Make time in your day to create. Just say no.

No,  I will not help you clean all the sidewalks in the neighborhood with a toothbrush.
No, I will not read everything you post on Facebook.
No, I will not clean the house all by myself, and let my children watch television all day.
No, I will not let your elephant stay with me when you go to Rome.
No, I will not stay awake all night and read odd news stories about two-headed cats.

When you don’t make time in your day to create, your paintings will never get painted, your stories will never be written, and your songs will never be sung. I know, I know, tomorrow you will do it. Really, I know. For the past twenty years, or seven thousand and three hundred days, I have said, “I will do it tomorrow.” But, the next day was the same as the one before. The dishes were washed, the counters were sort of clean, and the floors were swept, but my words stayed in my head, and my canvases remained white.

I would rather die with a few dishes in my sink, and dog hair on the carpet, then never take time to paint or write. On my tombstone may no one ever write, “She died with all of her dishes washed, and the vacuum was always running.”

Wake up early and write then, stop watching television at night and write then, stop spending eight hours a week scrubbing your walls and write then, or paint, or compose music or_____________. Fill in the blank.

Make time in your day to create. Just say no. ( p.s. I know I am repeating myself. But, in writing if you say things twice, you are either forgetful,have early Alzheimer’s, or you really want to make a point.)

Nike said, “Just do it.” I say, “Just say no.” 

Do you have any bad habits you need to say no to?

Please tell me in the comments, I would love to chat.

p.s. There is a, “However.”

However, please don’t be completely selfish with your time. There are organizations that need your help. Be wise and take time out of your life to help others. It is healthy to set boundaries. Know where you fence is. Take care of yourself. But open your gate a little and share your time. Learn when to say yes, and when to say no.

If you need help setting boundaries, I suggest the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Cloud and Townsend.


Today I talked about why you should say no to the bad. Tomorrow I will talk about why you should said no to the good. 

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon. The link to the book Boundaries is an affiliate link. The pennies Amazon pays me helps pay for Kitty Litter. As I said before, we have seven litter boxes and four cats.

IBetty and Robert by Pamela Hodges


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • This made me laugh, especially “sidewalks with a toothbrush.” 🙂 Great point! And the last book I read by Townsend & Cloud was really good; bet this one is too. Thank you!

  • Valorie MacDonald

    Pamela, I am about to fall right out of my chair! I JUST TODAY WROTE A DRAFT FOR A POST BASED ON THIS ISSUE!!! I don’t know how I missed this post, or the one that followed! BUT I LOVE THAT IT ALL HAPPENED THE WAY IT DID! I plan to post it early next week, and if I do, would it be alright to reference your posts about NO?
    Here’s a bit of what I wrote…it all started as a reply to another blog where they were talking about this same thing! “The fact is, your road is your road; my road is mine. Oh, what joy there is in finding that I can walk mine while wholeheartedly cheering you on, as you walk yours!… Let’s bring our fears or misgivings out from the shadows so we may help one another see that they’re not the hairy scary debilitating monsters we’ve made them out to be. (I go on to talk about when I was the young mother of twins.. the tension I’ve always felt in saying NO; how NO can be a gift, but often one we can only offer ourselves. How I’ve very often felt judged that I wasn’t in ministry enough, how I’ve struggled with not judging myself over a “not clean enough” home, etc. Anyway, I appreciate your consideration!)

    • Valorie,
      How funny you wrote a draft based on the same issue. Yes, please reference the post. You can always link to my posts. Seth Godin said, “The law of linking is that you don’t need to ask.”
      I look forward to reading your article!

      • Valorie MacDonald

        Love that, thanks!)

  • Janelle

    Great. Love the paintings:)

  • Thank you for your help today, Pamela! I didn’t read this post until tonight but it’ll amazing how you had written this before I posted my problem on FB. All I can say is God knows what we need to hear and when. I cannot thank you enough!

    • God is so cool. I am delighted my words were something you needed to hear.
      You are very welcome Anastacia.

  • jesspetersonart

    I like seeing the progress of your paintings in the last image. I see more paint splattered on that lamp 😀 I have time…and I have white canvases starring at me when I go down to the basement….I just need to decide WHAT to paint… “I will do it tomorrow,” is so so so easy to say.

    • Jess,
      Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Did you decide what you want to paint? Just paint one canvas at a time.
      Please share your creation.

  • kathunsworth

    Ah the balance of life and dirty dishes Pamela. I have a husband who will come home and start cleaning if I am madly creating something, I do not take him for granted. Finding a balance is crucial for me as I step off into the unknown world of NaNoWriMo next week I have NO DOUBT… domestics will be first to be sacrificed. Such a shame.

    • Good Morning Kath,
      Yes, dusting can take the back seat to writing a novel. So excited to read what you create! Your husband sounds very supportive.