A Year of Yeses

Life is short. Really short in the grand 2 billion-year-old-Earth kind of way. We occupy this planet but a very brief time. A year and a half ago my husband had the opportunity with his job to move to Colorado from Texas. I am a 5th generation born and raised Texan. No one leaves. Ever. But we did. It was scary and sad and exciting and invigorating and necessary. Necessary because in life you have to do things that are scary or you’re not really living. That’s my belief, anyway.

So we started on a journey with one big change. One big YES! And I decided if we can say yes to something as big as moving to another state then we should say yes to everything. I mean why not? Life is short. I think there’s some movie with Jim Carrey where he has to say yes to everything. I haven’t seen it so I don’t know how it turns out but so far the real life version has proven to live up to all expectations.

Andy decided to play soccer for the first time this season. He’s never played soccer, only baseball and football. Guess what? He LOVES soccer. He said YES! Maddie decided to run for student council at the very beginning of the school year when she knew no one at all. Scary. Guess what? She’s on student council. Patrick had the chance to go overseas and tour India, England and Belgium with work this month. He is still there and loving it. Amazing opportunity he would have never had if he’d said no. I’m just hoping he comes home…he seems to love it ALOT. There’s been lots of yeses this year for all four of us. We got ski passes, I climbed the infamous INCLINE at Pikes Peak, I went to Los Angeles and started working for myself, I made new friends, we became members at a MUSEUM! And not a museum of like dog art or anything but a real life real museum.

When I first moved here I looked up the local alumni chapter of my sorority. I emailed the girl in charge and went to the first meeting alone not knowing a soul. I thought it would be a good way to meet new people. I had a great time and it seems Chi-O’s are the same everywhere- funny, nice and welcoming. There was a happy hour scheduled yesterday about 40 minutes from my house. Last night the weather was terrible. Snowy, icy, rainy, cold, windy, yuck! I really really wanted to stay home on my couch. But I didn’t. I drove through the muck to have a few drinks with some other Chi-O alumni. And I sat down next to a 70 something year old firecracker. The ages at the table ranged from early thirties I’d say to early seventies. An eclectic group for sure that all shared one thing in common.

I am a big mouth and usually talk people’s ears off but last night I was honored to shut up and listen…well mostly. I asked a thousand questions. After graduating from college with a degree in journalism in the mid 1960’s she moved to Los Angeles by herself to be an assistant to the editor at a magazine. She got so personally invested in some of the stories she covered that she became a legal advocate. Vietnamese people who were flocking to the US during the war, immigrants who needed assistance, cancer victims who had been exposed to chemicals, a lady forced off a bus, she went on and on about all of the people who she helped and wrote stories about. What a fascinating time to have lived in. The 1960’s in California! Her stories sounded more like a movie than real life. She is now in her seventies and still advocating for people. Still working for underdogs. She literally said the words ” I just can’t say no to someone who calls for help..I have to say YES”. She proudly touts that sometimes she has to “raise a little Irish hell” to get things done. And I have no doubt she gets things done. I asked if I could walk her to her car when we left…she said “oh honey nobody’s gonna mess with me”. And I believed her.

I drove 40 minutes home thinking about what she must’ve been like in college and how different the times were when she was. How brave she must’ve been to stand up for things she felt were wrong. Would I have been that brave? All of the things she said yes to….

I had seriously considered skipping the social last night. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad I said YES I’ll go. I truly believe you only regret the things you DONT do in life. If something is scary or you think you might fail at it or no one else is doing it chances are you should say yes. Those yeses tend to be the most rewarding.

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