On saying Yes

I’ve been thinking a lot about a workshop coming up this weekend — a women’s retreat, so-to-speak, and time away to be with like-minded individuals in a supportive, creative environment.

Thinking about the questions posed to us ahead of time (loosely translated): 1) what’s the greatest risk you ever took and how did it turn out? 2) How do you define passion? and 3) What’s your big “Super Hero” dream – i.e. what does “next” look like?


The first two were easy to answer: 1) moving to another country with $178 and a guitar .. and here I am, a successful citizen.  2) It’s all that I am and what I can’t ever leave behind – it’s me doing the right thing regardless if anyone’s around to witness it – it’s music and love, family and relationships, hard work, silliness and stability. But #3.  3 has me thinking .. a lot.

On the treadmill last night, I had an epiphany (treadmill walking will do that to you … you can’t do much else, at least I can’t.) I can’t read or watch TV, pretty sure I’d fall off, but I digress.

I thought about how I gave oldest boy some of my sage advice last week on the power of saying “no.”  And, a direct quote was, “No. It’s a sentence.”  He used it and, by golly, it worked and here we are.

And I realized, at a 3.4 mph speed, that the past 5 years I’ve worked hard at saying no.  No without guilt. No without noise.  One word: “No.”

Saying no has opened up room for “Yes.”  And I’ve done a little of that … but last night I realized I already had my answer to #3 above.

I’m saying “Yes.”

Yes to adventures and events, to meeting new people who inspire and get me, yes to delight and wonder and learning and growth.  Yes to noise and yes to quiet.  Yes to order and yes to messy. Yes to love and comfort, joy and happiness.

I’m saying Yes.

“Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” -Tina Fey

What do you really want to say yes to? Have you made room for it in your life?


Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Fun, Home, music, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “On saying Yes

  1. That’s some good stuff girlfriend. Got me thinking this morning about some good questions for women who come to me wanting answers about what to do next. Have a wonderful time on your retreat! I know you will be an inspiration to those who have the pleasure of meeting you.

  2. A lot of people watch their life spin out of control because they can’t say no. Or they can’t say it without a paragraph (or entire book) to follow explaining. I like that no is a sentence. I work hard to only say yes when I want to, not to please people. That’s connected to saying no. They go hand in hand. Making the right choice and keeping the balance between what you feel you should do and what you want to do. When you can do that, the whole world opens up!

    • I agree – and I have done some of that in my day. It’s taken practice to be able to say no without, as you say, a paragraph or book explanation afterwards. I think it’s harder for women, at least in my experience it is. If we say no there’s something wrong with us. Enough of that nonsense … now I’m open to new adventures and experiences — Whee!! MJ

  3. I absolutely love this! First, you have solid boundaries and are able to say, no. Very healthy. And with that, you are free and open enough to open yourself up to new experiences. So beautiful. I sometimes wonder what’s next for me, and then I stop and realize I’m still quite in the thick of so many things, like raising my son. It’s plenty for now (as well as working on myself).

    • This is learned behavior — I was definitely raised to be very accommodating and, to a certain extent, I still am. I favor harmony over the alternative – but I’ve learned that not speaking up for what matters to me is a dire choice. I’ve done a lot of work to say no to what no longer works for me — but I realized that I haven’t really allowed much into that space. It started YESterday – and the results were immediate — a couple of planned meetings went better than expected and I found myself with additional invitations into new ventures that I’m excited about. Maybe I was just approachable and put off a different energy, who knows, but it was great fun to give it a go.

      We are all a work in progress 🙂 MJ

  4. Just to know when to say yes and when to say no, it’s wisdom.

  5. Great thought provoking piece here Marilyn. I’m pretty good at saying “no” without guilt though am still working on the “yes…I will enjoy this moment” train of thought. “Sitting still/playing it safe” verses “going out and trying something new” is still kind of a roll of the dice for me. I don’t know if I’m an introvert with extrovert moments or an extrovert with some introvert leanings! 🙂 I should probably take that test that you wrote about last summer. What was it called?


  6. I LOVE your number 3!

  7. And your new header!

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  10. From observing other bloggers who dreamt big and made big changes in their lives, I’m not afraid to entertain the idea of moving to another state one day.

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  14. Moving to another country is a tough thing and I admire your courage!

    • Thank you. I was probably a little too young to know what I was into and by the time I figured it out I was too stubborn to do anything but succeed! 🙂 MJ

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