Food & Wine

A Place of Yes

September 7, 2012

It’s September, which for me means the beginning of a new year. This is the season where I always feel like it’s time for a bit of a mental and physical tune-up – so the perfect occasion to make some resolutions.

For me, the biggest change is a renewed decision to say yes more often. In many ways, this feels counter-intuitive, since I have always been a person who had a hard time saying no. It’s taken me many years to get to a place where I can look at a situation, assess whether it is a healthy one and decide to say no. I may not always get it right, but at least I don’t always get it wrong anymore.

But when you learn to say no, you often start to do it a bit automatically. I am avoiding negative situations, but I worry that I am also avoiding positive ones too. It is easier to say no to everything, once you get the hang of it. But if I always say no, then I lose out on experiences that might end up being really great.

So how do I  get to a place of yes? Well, I have to start assessing things differently. There are, for example, a large number of things I have always thought I’d like to do, but I haven’t gotten around to them. Life is busy, work is stressful and when I finish all that I need to do in a day I often get a little lazy about things I might like to do. By saying yes to some of them, I might end up finding that they don’t bring a new layer of exhaustion but a renewed sense of spirit.

I also turn down a number of invitations. Not because I don’t like the people issuing them, but because I am ‘too busy’. This is often true – I have other plans or I simply don’t feel like adding more to an already tall pile of things I need to do. But when I do say yes I end up feeling better about life. I meet new people, I spend time with those I adore, I learn about new things and I feel renewed. Have you ever notice that when you least want to go to a party or event, it’s often the one you have the most fun at? I have.

So this September I am going to say yes more. I am hoping that it will be a fun experiment and an opportunity to try some new things. I will still be saying no to anything that strikes me as a negative or emotionally-draining experience, but I’m hoping that more yeses will mean more positives. I look forward to seeing where this takes me.

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