Here it is October already, and for the first time in years I didn't go into the month dreading it. Dreading it because for all of the wonderful awareness it raises for breast cancer, it is the in-your-face reminder of my own story. I am a breast cancer survivor.
October will always represent something to me other than just the start of fall or the precipice of the holiday madness. And as I learn to navigate through my own personal demons and triumphs with this month, I still hold true to my aversion to Pink Washing. Don't just buy the pink hype, people.
What is Pink Washing? Check out the excerpt from my blog post from 2014 to learn more - and how you can avoid the hype.
*sigh* October is probably my least favorite month. Nothing to do with the shorter days or colder temps, but more the arrival of "everything pink" in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Am I anti- Breast Cancer Awareness? Quite the contrary - I've had my own journey with Breast Cancer and am a proud 15 year survivor (hear my story). Seeing my daughter's volleyball team wearing pink during their games, or the ladies at Choice Therapy in pink makes me feel loved and supported as a survivor. My issue is the companies who wash their products and marketing in pink, but don't actually support Breast Cancer research, or do so in very small percentages while reaping the benefits of increased sales.
For example, the Oriental Trading Company sells loads of pink Breast Cancer Awareness products, but not a single cent goes towards Breast Cancer research. In 2010 Dansko (who's shoes I LOVE) rolled out a "pink ribbon" clog. They donated $25000 to Susan G. Komen before the clogs even hit the market - and weren't donating any more regardless of how many pairs of clogs sold. And the NFL - don't even get me started:( [Keep reading the rest at my previous blog post.]
It probably doesn't come as any surprise that physical "stuff" is not the only clutter in our lives. There is mental clutter, time clutter, too-many-commitments clutter, OMG-WHY-did-I-Say-YES-to-this clutter...you get the picture.
What's a person to do? There are so many requests, ahem I mean *opportunities*, for us to say Yes. A shocking revelation? It's OK to just...say...NO!
Not an abrupt "absolutely not, I can't believe you're even asking me that" NO. Perhaps a kinder, gentler, "I'm honored to be considered but that doesn't fit into my calendar right now".
A very wise person told me when I was struggling with a way out of a commitment that wasn't ringing true to me, that a lengthy explanation of WHY it wasn't working for me was not necessary. This wise person told me to simply, "tell him, as nicely as you please, that it's not working out. If he asks any questions, just keep repeating it".
Guess what? IT WORKED, and has been a game-changer for me! Have I mentioned how wise this person is? The point in a nutshell here? It's OK to say NO - in fact, it's probably healthy to practice saying NO! And we don't have to offer justification for everything. We can't be everything to everybody, or we are nothing to ourselves.
How will you practice (because it does take practice) saying no to today?
Sometimes one foot is all you can lift. Toward what? Doesn't matter. The motion itself is the answer. It may be the only answer you have for all those big horrible questions.
Probably, yes, to all. But stasis . . . stasis is the wrong answer.
Keep reading more from Cinderella, Dressed in Yella, and her response to my blog post last week where I talked about the NWA approach - No Wrong Answer. She's right. If our answer is Zero. Nada. Zip. Zlich. Then we aren't really answering at all. And we can do better than nothing.
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who