The year of saying yes.
24 months ago today I decided that I needed to try something new.
You see I had been spending quite a bit of my time moaning and groaning and grousing about some personal problems I was having.
There had been a lot of change going on in my life, some of it rather major and distressing including a big house move, loss of a parent and a change of community.
I had been through one of those very difficult life stages where everything is thrown upside down. Suffice to say, I was writing poetry people. Poetry!
But one morning it occurred to me that it was time to do something new.
So I decided that I was going to have a year of saying yes.
What this meant was that I was going to change a little bit of what was going on in my life.
Instead of saying “I can’t,” “it won’t work,” “I know I should, but I really don’t want to,” “I guess you are probably right” “I probably shouldn’t.”
I was going to start saying
“yes, if I want to do it, I will.” And alongside this
“no, if I don’t want to do it, I won’t.”
Somehow, from somewhere I just had this epiphany that this was the best way forward for me.
It became known (in my head alone) as the year of saying yes.
It was awesome.
I had spent a really long time trying to make other people happy. A lot of the time I would do things because I thought that is what the other person wanted me to do. Most of the time they probably really did not care. All of the time it was not really up to them to decide what was right for me anyway.
So I set off on my brand new adventure at a roaring pace.
I already new that doing new things had a magical way of opening up new opportunities. I also already knew that engaging in pleasant activities is good for the soul and the heart and the head.
I decided to keep track of what I was doing as part of my first gratitiude journal because I also knew that gratefulness increased happiness and this time around I was determined to say yes to happiness whenever it decided to pay me a visit.
Welcome home happy-Ness. Pull up a chair, pop your feet up and just lounge around person, until you need to head off again.
And so I did some elaborate-ish things (in my mind anyway). I met new people and I tried new things and I went to places that I once would have left for other people. I reached out and I tried my hand and I danced along and I painted my lips too red and wore bright clothes that made me smile in my toes.
Some people were not very happy for me, they didnt exactly scowl or growl but they didn’t exactly cheer me on either. But I decided to let them go this time because I was cheering and it sounded rad. Plus I was learning to say “no. Not to what other people wanted, but “no” to putting what other people wanted first.
So today I am grateful for my year of saying yes, and for the permanent change it created in my life.
I am also grateful for the people I met along the way and the people who cheered me on.
I met some really lovely people who I now count as friends.
Some of my family and friends who were very confused about what I was doing, well they were still kind and encouraging and I will never forget the ones who cheered on from the sidelines.
Eventually things did have to settle down a little bit because a lot of yes creates a lot of opportunity and it can be hard to keep up with your own life in that situation. But the change in me was permanent.
I wonder what your “year of saying yes” would look like?
What about your week of saying “yes.”
Why don’t you try it? Or if you are not brave enough to try it then maybe sit back sometime in your favourite comfy chair and just imagine it. Because imagination is the beginning of new adventures.
See you out there on the road.
Dani B is a food and lifestyle blogger from Melbourne. She writes about good food for a good life. Come join her 31 days of gratitude challenge.
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