May 2016 be your year of yes. May it be filled with love, family, adventure, travel, new experiences and empowerment.
All my love,
That was the inscription my daughter wrote on the book she gave me for Christmas 2015 – Year of Yes (How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and be Your Own Person) by Shonda Rhimes,- the incredible creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice (amongst others).
2015 was the year my husband left me, and that Christmas, despite my daughter giving birth to her first child a few days earlier, I was truly lost and in despair.
There was one particular paragraph in the book that really resonated with me. Losing yourself doesn’t happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one ‘no’ at a time. ‘No’ to going out tonight. ‘No’ to catching up with that old college roommate. ‘No’ to attending that party. ‘No’ to making a new friend. Losing yourself happens one pound at a time.
In a desperate attempt to try and get my life back on track, I decided to follow my daughter’s suggestion and make 2016 my year of ‘Yes’. Shonda decided to say ‘Yes’ to things that scared her – for example being interviewed by ‘Oprah’ – but also ‘yes’ to the small, but most important things in life, like spending 15 minutes with her kids, no matter what she was doing, when they asked “Wanna play?”
With my kids grown and the chance of Oprah asking to interview me zero percent, I adapted “Wanna play?” to saying ‘Yes’ to any invitation I got, as long as 1) I could afford it, and 2) it was safe.
“You wanna go to Vegas in July?” A friend had been asking me this for years and I’ve always said no. I hate hot weather. I’m a visiting stately homes, walking along empty beaches kind of person. No, no, no.
We had a blast and I treasure a photo of us wearing the tiaras I bought for my granddaughters.
“Wanna go for a walk in the park?” (It’s midnight and the middle of winter. No, no, no, no!)
I take some stunning photos of downtown all lit up at night, we sit by the river and listen to it rushing by as we watch the faint Northern Lights dancing in the distance.
Wanna go swimming? (I can’t swim. I hate the water. I panic if my face gets wet. No, no, no!)
I still can’t swim, but it’s so much fun sitting and shooting the breeze with my friend in the hot tub.
Wanna climb that hill up to the lochan you’ve always wanted to visit? (No, no, no. It’s too high. I’m not fit enough. You’ve got to carry the baby. What if one of us falls and there’s no cell reception up here?)
The views and the silence are stunning. We sit by the side of the lochan, my daughter feeds her baby and all is perfect.
And there were many – many – more moments that would never have happened, and new friends I would never have met, if I hadn’t said ‘Yes’.
2016 continued to have its painful – extremely painful – moments, but it had some pretty spectacular ones too, thanks to that one little word, “Yes’.
So think about what ‘Yes’ might do for your life. Make sure you fix your boundaries first… then go for it!