The Year of Yes – and No

The arrival of a New Year is an opportune time to reflect on the year just gone and set resolutions for the year to come.  I didn’t really plan on writing a blog about my resolutions…  I feel like they are a private thing, best shared with those closest to you.  But then I stumbled on something that got me thinking.

I spent last week in Antigua with my husband’s family.  We were a “discreet” group of 21 people – pretty hard to miss us! There was lots of time by the pool and at the beach (with a few umbrella drinks consumed for good measure). In other words, plenty of time to read!  I poured through Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s latest book, The Golden Son – a great book, with rich, wonderful characters.  If you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, I got to talking to my nieces about their books and learned that one of my nieces was reading Shonda Rhimes’ book, Year of Yes.  The basic premise of the book revolves around Shonda’s sister telling her:  “You never say yes to anything”.  As a result, Shonda committed to saying “yes” to everything for one year.  I haven’t personally read the book yet, but that doesn’t really matter.  The idea behind the book is really the point.  And it got me thinking…

My basic default is to say “yes” to most things in life.  I hate to disappoint people, and so I take on various commitments, often without much thought – yes to being class parent for both kids’ classes, yes to various other roles at their schools, yes to charitable commitments… the list goes on.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy many of these things – but not all of them.  And I often find that having said “yes” to so many things leaves me with little time to dedicate to other pursuits.

Given this, it would seem reasonable for me to say that this should be the Year of No.  But that wouldn’t be the right answer and it would be an inaccurate description of my life.  Because, truth be told, I also say no to some things because I feel uncomfortable or nervous.  There are various social commitments that intrigue me, but I worry about not knowing other people or feeling out of my depth and so I tend to decline them.  It’s only after-the-fact that I realize that I missed out on a great time and the opportunity to meet new, interesting people.

So, with all of this said, I have landed on the following for 2016…  This year, I want to be more mindful and reflective of my decisions.  Where I once would have said “yes” without any thought, I want to pause and perhaps say “let me get back to you on that” before making a final decision.  And I also want to push myself outside of my comfort zone to consider invitations that might make me wary, but that will undoubtedly be a positive in the end.

Happy New Year to you.  I hope that you are as excited as I am by all that 2016 has to offer!

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