I read. A lot. It’s hazard of both my nature and my trade. Over the years I have read and generally subscribed to the policy of learning to say no. It has served me well on a lot of levels, except one. I forgot how to say yes – to the things I forgot I loved so much, and I don’t think I’m alone.
The Year of Yes. Why Everyone Should re-live 13.
So there it was, right in my face, life got really heavy and I I had “no-d” myself right into years of work and responsibility, and not a whole lot else. That’s when I decided to embark on my year of yes and I decided to do it by having a do-over of my 13th year. Wait, what?! I’m 96% certain anyone reading this far just said, that. I mean who nobody their right mind would go back to 13. It’s not the most glamorous time in one’s life. In fact it kind of sucks. It’s the year decisions become real, one’s that have bearing on the next several years of life and it seems everyone is constantly reminding you of it. But if you look deep there is still a sense of adventure and the last thing I wanted to do when my own daughter turned 13 was diminish that in at a time when time when confidence is already waning.
So yes it was – and YES its been amazing, here’s what I learned: When my daughter came to me and said there was a One Republic concert 4 hours away in two days, I said yes. We jumped in the car with a couple of friends took that road trip and went to the concert. I looked over to see them jumping and thought I hadn’t jumped (other than the obligatory boot camp move to lift my 40 year old derriere to the place god intended). So I jumped – and I love it. I sang out loud and didn’t care who saw or heard me, we ran after the lead singer when he came off stage and I left drenched in sweat, exhausted and so grateful for the experience.
So I decided why stop there. My year so far has gotten me back on ice skates, sleds, skis, waves far bigger than anyone post knee op should be in, paddle boarding, sculling, I even decided it was ok to have a crush on the lead singer of a band and make new friends. I transferred my year of yes policy to my professional life. I started saying yes to new clients and career opportunities as well. It’s opened new doors and gave me a sense of accomplishment I hadn’t been feeling. To top it off my daughter came to me and said she wants to do the proverbial skydive for her 16th birthday, and well, you got it, we will do the thing that started it all – saying yes to a jump. Ultimately, I will find a new balance between saying no to the wrong things, saying ok to the right things, and saying YES to the things that make a life a life. For now I will re-do my 13th year with my own 13 year old daughter always remembering that watching her say yes, and teaching me how, will be the greatest gift she will ever give me.
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