Sunday, July 7, 2013

Can't be a domestic goddess of creativity all the time...embracing your mortality and harnessing the power of no.

So, I am back!  MMP has asked me to do a series of blogs to titillate your taste buds.   I'd like to say this is a brand new offer and venture but alas it was kinda partially my idea from way back and then I ran off and happily watched others get voluntold to do it.  Just kidding ( sorta).  If you've noticed  MMP has a host of UBER TALENTED WRITERS on board. And several of them contribute monthly in one way or the other... there are interviews and quizzes, funny stories and thought provoking essays.  Me, I had no clue what to write.  So, I kept pretending that I didn't get the invite to pick a day.

If you're a fan/friend, you know I've been on a writing hiatus. Life was just to big and bold for me to balance creativity and domesticity with a full time job, an intra-state move, medical emergencies, a budding new business and well — life.
Sure, we've all had to balance such things, but there comes a time in the precious balance when one side ways more heavily than the other and in order to keep theses arms gloriously soft and divalicous vrs. one side soft and the other side she hulk, something had to just be set down.

For a while there I was looking like a Hindu Goddess Statue; I had arms and legs going every which way while standing daintily on one toe as if I were a seasoned ballerina. Sweat poured into my eyes, my lips chapped from constant licking, or being tucked into my teeth, my eyes closed tightly and my breathing slow but laborious.
 Ok, so I really DIDN'T look like a Hindu Goddess, because those DIVAS are BAD.  They always have tight abs, perky boobs, hair laid for the gods and a blind justice, take no shit stare that lets you know that what ever demons are tromping around in their domain are doing so because Mistress permitted — nay! COMMANDED them to do so. Those chics have life on lock!

I, stand (sit) before you ( this laptop) a mere mortal. And while I may do a damn good impersonation of a domestic goddess of creativity, sometimes thats just stage make up. Sometimes I just have to admit it. I can't do it all. I can't even do half of it. HELL, I CAN"T DO A FRACTION OF IT.
And what is MORE... I don't want to.

Wow, that felt scary and freeing.  Saying "I DON'T WANT TO."  Those for little words are close and often synonymous for one word "NO".  No, is the hardest word in any language to say with out quantification, qualification, or supplication.

When we learn the word no in infancy, its usually to our displeasure. We want something and some giant person tells us "no no no no no no" and immediately we learn no is bad. No, isn't what we want. NO is EVIL.

AHHH, but we learn to say it back. Learn that these giant people don't like NO anymore than we do. Especially when our tiny mouths are chanting it at the top of our lungs. NO gives us power. NO, Takes the giant people aback and makes them tired and weary and they give us what we want. We know no other word than NO. No means yes! Glorious resounding victory of the YES. We are free with the NO. Lyrical, with the NO.   NO, becomes the song of our people. We march around screaming, squealing, chanting the No as if we invented the NO.  WE OWN THE NO.

 And then we learn that we aren't entitled to say NO. That if we say NO, we aren't going to like what the giant people do to us before that  short little word finishes escaping our voice box. ( I am not the only one who remembers my mother cocking an eye brow and saying " before you fix your lips to say no to me, you better remember to whom you're speaking."  Hey, every notice that your mom's grammar got PHD level good when you were about to get your life threatened?")

We take that lesson with us as we grown. NO is all but eradicated from our vocabulary. It doesn't exist. Its not an option.

Until we rediscover it.  Now here is were it gets dicey folks. the rediscovery of No.  The rediscover of no generally happens three ways before morphing into a genuine ownership of no.

A) We discover no comma.   You know what I mean.  The conditional no.  No that means eventually yes.  No, but I could do—, No, not right now, but tomorrow, No (soul sigh) ok, when do you need it.
this isn't a real no.  This is no, but don't un-friend me/dislike me/add to my work load anyway/make my life any harder/its simpler to just say yes no. We supplicate the no. Prayer fully we beg no, knowing full well that we  are going to just go on and  say yes because we feel there is no other way. "Lord, no, but if its your will, then yes". ( Yes, I went there.)

B) Some of discover the silent no.  The yes, but no. The yes, with out delivery.  We accept with a big smile on our face then walk away promising to get something done, but knowing full well we aren't going to do it.  YES, means no.
"SURE!, OH, THATS FINE! NO, REALLY I GOT THIS!"  and weeks later we haven't delivered. Let me tell you from personal experience, this NO is dangerous. Even if you don't mean to use this as a no, it can creep up on you and something you fully intended to deliver on, but with out a good reason you just don't.  Its better to use the NO, I don't want to . Than to use the Yes, means no too often.

C) HELL TO ALL THE NAWLS NO.... this is the pissed off no. Most of us come to this no, well, pissed off.  Thats it. That does it. WE ARE DONE. Not only are we done, we've discovered that we are actually the same size as the giant people and we can say NO with all the enthusiams as our infant selves. Not only can we OWN THE NO, we can ELABORATE The NO. ENUNCIATE The NO. Qualify and Quantify The NO. We not only get lyrical with The NO, We not only chant The NO, We not only make NO the song off our people. We create dances to The NO, we GRANDSTAND THE NO.  Now this no is useful, but some times we get a little to happy with this NO.  We use this NO when a simple No will do.  We take extra pride and pleasure in this NO and we for get our selves. We start saying NO, when we should be saying yes.

But eventually we find OUR no.  That personal no that isn't weak or brassy.  That simple no, that doesn't come from a place of sheer exhaustion, tears, frustration, anger.  Not the whispered no. Not the shock value no. Just plain old no.  Not anyone else's no. Not go to hell, no. Not the not right now no.  JUST NO. Plain, simple, quite no.
With the birth of our no, we then learn what it means to say YES.  Yes because we actually, truly want to say yes. Yes, because it feels good. Yes, because we have time and we WANT TO. Yes! YES! YES!

Now, right about now I bet you're saying, "Wait,What? How did she go from creative domestic goddess to no to yes."

Weren't you paying attention!?  In order to be a domestic creative goddess one must have discovered her no and in doing so find her yes.

I went the long way about it. But, I found my no.  I had to let go of being the multi armed, mutlifaceted domestic goddess of creativity and just be plain old every day me. ME had to learn to take off the cape and be mortal. Find my no. Understand that my no was my own, and that I didn't have to be apologetic for my no. When I learned the sound and taste of my own no, I discovered my yes. My very own custom made yes. Smooth, and sultry with a slight hiss on the end. Not reluctant or hesitant or rushed and cacophonous. Just yes.

In my YES, I found that I can be The Domestic Goddess of Creativity all the time. Because I have harnessed the power of THE NO.

See you on the Seventh of August.

Drea Riley.


  1. I love your blog. I can say whether I say it strong or half assed. I can still say the word NO. It doesn't make you any weaker if you say it either.

  2. sometimes you have to say NO. good blog.

  3. "NO, becomes the song of our people." *cackles* The diva that is me discovered her no a while ago. It comes in a silent stare. Very few can return that stare once it fall upon them. They usually stammer an alternative to whatever they suggested. My divaliciousness revels in the power of her "No" stare.

  4. This was a great blog...very true that you can't say YES to everything...

  5. I love this. I need to remember to own my No's, and to quit saying "No, but..."


  6. No is the hardest word for me. But I am learning slowly but surely. And I completely understand the balancing full time job with creativity. Its difficult, but I'm learning that too. Great blog, Drea!

  7. I am glad you all stopped by to read! Yes, No, is very hard for me. Even when I manage to say it there are times that I walk away with a deep sense of " you shoulda just said yes". It's a very long journey finding your own no. Even when the people I trust the most and was constantly saying yes to questioned my "yes", ask if I was sure I wouldn't rather say "no" I'd get defensive. Defend my yes even when I really wanted to scream, shout, wimper "no, no, no". When everyone could look at me and tell all I wanted to say was "no". I hid behind yes. I'm getting better at "no". And sometimes I break out the "hell, to all the nawls, no". Its the song of my people. I get funky with it, I roll my eyes and my neck and wag my finger while proping one hand on my hip and moving my spine like a cobra under the magical spell of the snake charmer's flute. Sometimes I say know all big and proud then have to run away and have mini panic attacks "OMG DID I JUST SAY NO?! WTF IS WRONG WITH ME!?" But slowly, I'm getting used to no. And I'm ok with it. I hope you all are too!

  8. Nice! A lady after my own heart. I had to learn the hard way to say NO!.. Once you get messed over a few times because people only think about themselves, you learn. I decided a few years ago to take my NO stand for my well being and have never regretted. It took family and friends a bit to realize that I really meant it. LOL That was interesting to watch.

    Thanks for sharing Drea!

    Belinda G

  9. I am glad you have discovered your NO. I have had to learn NO at an early age because if I didn't it would have been at my own downfall and i'm not trying be anyone's doormat. when i tell people a simple no they are always surprised at it and like damn you really mean no and i'm like hell yes i mean no and they walk away baffled. If I don't wanna share my sh*t then I won't and you can't make me. I won't share my sh*t but here is some money for ya own sh*t. that confuses them as well. My parents made it so my sister and i didn't have to share due to the fact they came from large families where they had to. I've know no for some time but had to rediscover it a lot earlier then i probably should have but hey I love the no and NO! Great blog drea love!

  10. So glad to be surrounded by such great minds that UNDERSTAND... each person finds THE NO from a different angle, even if there is similarities. And trust me... knowing all of you over the last two years has really helped me be more confident in myself and my NO.


  11. Well said, Lady D. A lesson we all need to remember now and again. :)