15 September 2014

Now Is My Time #35: Revisiting Say Yes

I am quickly closing in on the five-year anniversary of kalanicut. Can't even believe I'm saying that. Proud to still be publishing, proud to still be focused on doing quality work and sharing things I hope bring inspiration for light and peace and encouragement to the world.

As I was going through posts from a few years ago I remembered this recipe contest I won. (Pardon the totally weak graphics and experimental font usage. This was the very, very early days and I still had a lot to learn...and still do have a lot to learn!)

What a phenomenal experience that was. I didn't enter at first and the deadline passed. Then they reopened the deadline and I figured it was a sign that I should have just had the courage to do it in the first place. So I went for it and somehow won the entire contest. The prize changed, there ended up not being a trip to Boston or a dinner party photo shoot, but I still was handsomely rewarded. That was one of those moments where I hesitated and then when I said "Yes" incredible things happened.

This reminded me of this fantastic two-part guest post written by my friend Sarah called Yes Month. It is worth a regular revisit for anyone who wants to maintain courage, growth and adventure in their lives. Reading it today could bring all sorts of new adventures into your life.

This got me thinking about whether I am being adventurous enough in my life. I decided to make a list of things I've said yes to lately. Here it is.

1. Said yes to applying to two adventures that make my stomach nervous. One is far away, one is almost too close for comfort. Both are game changers and risks.

2. Said yes to an upcoming deep sea fishing excursion. I have my concerns about seasickness because I've had it in the deep waves of the Pacific and I've been on a boat in California where every tourist except me was throwing up and splayed out on the deck as if they would die. Bad flashbacks. I love the ocean but I don't like that seasick feeling. Am investigating the good "take in advance" drugs NOW.

3. Said yes to a couple of experiences that I thought I had no shot at and I got a lot farther than anticipated, gained a lot of confidence and those spurred me on to being more courageous and trying more new things.

4. Said yes to sitting in the fourth row of WET ZONE at the Shamu show at SeaWorld. I learned that on really hot days they really go for it. Six complete drenching in fifteen minutes. We could not have been any more soaked if we'd jumped into the pool. What an adventure. But I didn't feel hot the rest of the day despite the killer temps.

This experience also helped me make sense of the older woman with the lumpy body who showed up at the show in only a swimsuit. She knew what she was getting into. Haha. Getting through the rest of the day in all wet clothes and shoes was less fun that you might imagine.

5. Said yes to asking for help when I would've done just about anything not to have to ask. Life lessons there, let me tell you. Learning to ask for and accept help when you are a fiercely independent person is not easy. Ah humility.

6. Said yes to more fiercely managing and protecting my life experience. In multiple ways this year I have said yes and no to situations that have helped me better lead my own life. I care less about what others think and say and more about what I know to be true and best for me in my own life. Takes a warrior mentality and a sometimes painful acceptance of personal responsibility.

7. Said yes to asking for what I want. I have a silly "I don't want to bother anyone" problem. One of the great regrets I've had in my life is that I didn't take people up on amazing offers they made to me because I didn't want to bother them. So dumb. This has necessitated me learning, later in life than I should have, to just say and ask for what I really want rather than silencing my desires "for the greater good" aka not bothering people.

(This is so dumb, I realize it, I promise...but it's kind of an oldest kid thing. The immediate needs of the younger kids very often supersede the needs of the older kids. Then the older kids are drafted to become part of the solution to those immediate needs, rather than focusing on their own wants. Ask any oldest child about this one. It's real.)

I have too often said, "Oh whatever you want." and have in fact not learned very well to know and say what I want for fear or upsetting the apple cart and just wanting to keep things running painlessly. That does not always work and is not a skill that should always be employed. Life lesson...when The Man asks me what I want to have for dinner, actually say what I'd like to have for dinner instead of "I don't care, whatever is easiest for everyone."

8. Said yes to staying to dinner with dear friends who live far away after we popped by for a quick hello when we were in town unexpectedly. They insisted, we said yes. We were blessed by our night with them in multiple ways and it was a great resting point after a very long, hot, exhausting day of work. We had no idea how much we needed that time with them until after later. So glad we said yes.

9. Said yes to continuing to blog. The blogging landscape has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. There are lots of lovely people who aren't blogging anymore. Reader behaviors have changed too as have opportunities to monetize a blog.

This gave me a chance to really question why I blog and if it was worth my time to continue. When I evaluated what was really important to me and why I blog I said yes to continuing. I'm so happy I did and that I continue to learn and grow from the experience. I also hope that loyal readers and new readers still find value and inspiration here. That is my goal.

10. Said yes to life. As I get older, I realize more and more that life doesn't get easier, you just have to get stronger. It's such a cliche thing to say but it is so true. Life is a challenge, but putting your best attitude and best foot forward makes tackling it a much more hopeful experience. So this year I say "Wow what a grand and challenging adventure!" instead of "Man, life is hard." One if vastly more inspiring than the other and keeps me going.

What have you said yes to this year? Are there things you haven't quite dared say yes to yet? What's keeping you from it?


Jenn said...

I have to comment to agree - "I don't want to bother anyone" is completely a thing and I also believe it's an oldest child thing. I have to be very very careful of not falling in that trap.

Also, I don't comment a lot, but I really enjoy your posts and read each one. I'm especially enjoying your 'Now is my time' series :).

kalanicut said...

So glad to have some oldest child validation, Jenn! Thank you so much for your kinds words. It is always nice to hear there are people out there reading and appreciating posts. Glad you are enjoying Now Is My Time. The year is quickly coming to a close and I'm thinking a lot about what the theme for next year will be. How do I take what I've learned this year to the next level....if you or anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.

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