I have always been one to say Yes when friends and family (and sometimes complete strangers) have asked for help. It is in my nature to want to help you out. Need help moving? Need an errand run? Need two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale? Need to borrow $200 to pay your cell bill? Yup, I’ve answered Yes to all of those questions when they have been asked of me, and to many, many more. My Amy comes and stays the weekends with me sometimes, so she is no stranger to my parents calling and she just loads up in the car with me as we go help them out. I hosted a slumber party for my other bestie Karen (yes, a grown-up slumber party. We had drinks and made our own tie-dye shirts. It was a blast, I highly recommend it!) and as we were all hanging out in the garage talking and playing, my parents called. So, we all took a break from the party, loaded up, went to my parents’ house, helped and then went back to my place and finished the party. Okay, you get the point?
It could be that I’m the first born, so I’m used to being needed. It could be that I’m a Cancer and crave someone to need me. All I know is that I like to help others. At one point I realized that I was saying yes and helping others to the exclusion of taking care of myself. In addition to making myself sick, I realized that I wasn’t doing anything for ME. Yes, the big selfish ME. I realized that I wasn’t setting a good example for my son – our lives should be dedicated to causing no harm and helping others – but not to the point that we never got to do anything for ourselves!
Then one night, flipping through the channels, I ran across a movie, “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. The short point of the movie is that a guy challenges himself to say Yes to everything. And I mean everything. In between the laughter and groans (it was Jim Carrey after all, you know there will be some overacting!) this little light bulb over my head started to appear and then begin to shine.
So, I resolved to say Yes, but for ME. I resolved that when my friends called and invited me somewhere, I would say Yes. This led to an increase in baby sitter fees and an increase in my overall well-being! I figure it was a fair trade off! I hope that I will always remember my first Yes experience (we should all remember our first, right?). My Amy would stop off at a small bar after work about once a month with a co-worker or two and she told me they were having a grand re-opening celebration, live music, outdoor performances, etc. Well alrighty then – let’s go! We did. We went, and boy oh boy was I uncomfortable at first. I am extremely shy. Super confident, exceedingly shy. Walking into a room where I don’t know anyone is such torture for me!! So, I pretty much clung to my Amy’s side, LOL. And then Karen and her hubby showed up. Karen is good at spontaneous trips and events. And, that was the night that I think our friendship started to really grow. So, saying Yes and forcing myself to get through the night lead to one of the best friendships I have today. And, yes, I ended up having fun. It was nice, it was relaxed and it was a new experience for me!
For several years now, I have said Yes to things I normally wouldn’t And I have had so many adventures! Mr. T is older now, so instead of a babysitter, he gets to come on a lot of the outings and adventures, and frequently, it’s just the two of us having our own adventure. It keeps me from getting settled into a rut, from staying inside my comfort zone and from becoming a hermit!! All of those things are easily possible. The nice thing is, my friends have fully supported this – and encouraged it and even participated in it. When we start to waffle on whether or not to do something – one of us will just say YES.
I’m proud to admit that, after several years, I am a Yes Man. I answer Yes to as much as possible. Along the way I have also learned how to say No. It doesn’t happen very often because I do have a strong sense of family and friends – but I have said it when I needed to say it. Saying Yes has become second nature for me, I look forward to new adventures, I look forward to what I will encounter and I look forward to it enriching my life. And, I’m crossing items off my bucket list like nobody’s business. I am living my life, I am creating stories that will be passed on for generations (okay, maybe not, but still!) and I am setting an example for others that life is here to be enjoyed and to be participated in!
Participate! Live! Be a Yes Man!
I’m about to participate in cleaning my house… oh yeah, I’m living the life right now! Scrubbing toilets and mopping floors – I don’t think it could get any more glamorous!