My Year of Yes

2018 is almost over, and what a spectacular year it has been! This year, I found myself doing a few things I would have never done had it not been for my decision to say, "Yes," to almost everything I would usually deny. Though I have not yet read, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, the concept of saying yes more often to the events and people who stand to enrich my life, intrigued me.

So, I gave it a whirl.

Anyone who knows me has come to know that I say no to everything that takes me out of my routine and comfort zone. I have a very long list of things I do not like, and I do my very best to avoid everything on that list –– crowds, noise, elevators, airplanes, and anything that happens after sunset, to name a few.

Start Locally:

First, I started locally, and visited Griffith Observatory with two of my many sisters, who were visiting from Florida, in January. By the spring, I was visiting Getty Museum with my kid. Although I have lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, and live within minutes of both of these attractions, I'd never taken the time to visit either of them. For me, it was the thought of traffic on the way to the venues, the hassle of parking once I got there, the crowds inside the venues, getting out of the garage when we were finished, and having to deal with traffic on the way home. As you can see, I had a very long list of reasons why I shouldn't experience the observatory and the museum, as I do with most things.

But, this year, I said yes!

Take Atleast One Big Trip Per Year:

This fall, after the summer rush, I traveled alone to St. Thomas to visit my grandmother and the home where I grew up. It was the first time I'd traveled alone, and it was the first time I'd been home in many years. This was a huge trip for me, and something I refused to do, year-after-year, citing my irritation with crowds, airports, airplanes, layovers, and so forth.

But, this year, I said yes!

Take Several Short Trips Per Year:

Just this weekend, a friend asked if I wanted to tag along on his road trip to Phoenix. My very first thought was, hell no! And when I heard myself, the first word out of my mouth was a contrarian, "Absolutely!" To be clear, I am not a fan of road trips, especially those over three hours. Last fall, I drove my kid to Las Vegas to see Carlos Santana in concert, after being invited by a friend. That 3 hour drive was quite a lot for me, But, now, I figured I'd better stick to my commitment to say yes to things I usually wouldn't, and my commitment to taking several small trips per year. So, 20 years after moving from Phoenix, I returned to visit my father, sisters, and brothers –– and our horses! I had a really nice time, and got a well-deserved break from work for a couple days.

What I've Learned:

Over the past year, I have been more active than I have been in the past many years. I have also made it a point to travel to other areas of town in order to try different restaurants and ice creameries, which has brought me so much joy. These field trips, road trips, and travels have further proven that life is not about acquiring more things; it's about having more experiences.

So, I have decided to create a Year of Yes Schedule! It includes:

  • 1 local field trip per month
  • 3 road trips or quick trips per year (1 per season, for 3 seasons)
  • 1 major trip (during the 4th season)

The point is, let's all take a vow to say, "Yes!" to events and people we would usually deny, as long as what we are agreeing to has the potential to enrich our lives. This past year has been phenomenal for me, and a large portion of that is credited to doing things I normally wouldn't. I took some risks, I stepped out on a few ledges, and I jumped off, praying my parachute would open on the way down –– and it always did.

Here's to more adventure in 2019!

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