my year of yes (and no), oh the places I’ll go!


fireworks over Nassau, Bahamas

Fireworks over Nassau – courtesy Geoff Tygret

Twenty twelve started with a bang: standing with my fabulous friends, Mark & Geoff, Meghan & Jarrod, on the top deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship anchored a mile off Nassau, mesmerized by too-many-to-count fantastical fireworks displays up and down the island. I even got a kiss at midnight from two handsome men! Right after they kissed each other. 🙂

Geoff and I – how handsome is he?

Just after midnight, fireworks lighting the night sky, Mark leaned over and told me, “This is your year of yes!” We’d been talking about Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Year of Yes, her funny account of the year she spent saying yes to every prospective date who came her way. Her year of yes was the inspiration for my year of yes. But I’m not just saying yes to dates. I’m saying yes to everything! Adventure. Opportunity. Excitement. (My own handsome fella to kiss at midnight next New Year’s Eve?) And, most importantly, balance!

It’s so easy to say no to myself. Can I take a trip to (fill in the blank: Colorado? Paris? Barcelona?)? No. Can I write a blog? No. Can I pay off my credit cards? Run a 5K? Lose 10 pounds? No. No. No!

On the flip side, it’s so easy for me to say yes to everyone else! Will you host a (fill in the blank: Tupperware, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple) party? Sure! Mom, will you buy me this (game, outfit, car)? You bet! Miss Regina, can I live with you? Of course!

As part of my journey toward balance, I am learning to say yes to myself a lot, and no to everyone else a little.

Grammy & Sweetness show off their mustache “tattoos”

So far the Yesses have been a lot of fun!

There’s the second weekend cruise to the Bahamas to celebrate Sweetness’ 19th birthday and Baby Sister’s 33rd birthday, an all-girl event that included three generations and a couple of fun, new friends.

Giggling, guffawing karaoke on the birthday cruise (who knew there were more words to Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” then, well, um, “Buh-buh-buh-Benny and the Jets.”)  Thankfully for the crowd, we were followed by a beautiful, professional rendition of All That Jazz by fellow passenger Gabby that was honestly so good Baby Sister felt compelled to accompany the song with her own personal interpretative dance!  Luckily for the crowd, our seats were strategically (and purely coincidentally) located behind the stage so they could enjoy Gabby’s beautiful vocals and Baby Sister’s enthusiastic dance!

St. Louis Art Museum

I combined a business trip with a whirlwind tour of St. Louis.  If I had to describe St. Louis in just one word it would have to be ICY!  In spite of the frigid cold, thanks to the generosity of my hostess, I stayed very bundled up and fairly warm.  (For the first time since I bought them, I could actually justify the expense of my Uggs!  Warm feet are important!)  The whirlwind tour included a pretty speedy jaunt through the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM to the natives), an up-close look at the Arch, an even speedier jaunt through the Museum of Westward Expansion (which reminded me of my unfathomable childhood desire to live in a teepee!), and a leisurely lunch with a well-educated Jesuit priest who was as kind as he was handsome (I admit to leaving with more than a little crush on the good Father!).

Karen Ann playing the piano in Fort Collins.

Thanks to a pot of gold disguised as American Express reward points, I enjoyed a long weekend trip to Colorado to visit one of my BFFs, Karen Ann, and her sweet Carolina Girl.  We spent hours walking around, playing tourist in Boulder and Fort Collins, talking and laughing, and oh my goodness, eating and eating and eating some more!  (Every time I visit Colorado, I find something new to love!)

I’ve covered everything from sandy beaches to snowy suburbs, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

My snowy proof! Don’t expect to ever see this again. 🙂

My year of yes hasn’t just been about traveling.  I’ve taken this blog past the “I’ve been thinking about it from every angle, maybe I should start writing something” stage.

Thanks to a new philosophy reminiscent of Maria Dahvana Headley, I’ve said yes to men who are younger or older, taller or shorter, thinner or heavier than I’d normally date. (All of the men are smart and funny – these are my non-negotiables!) I’ve eaten some really good food, spent one incredible afternoon sailing, and laughed. A lot!

Honestly, learning to say yes to myself is easier than figuring out how to say no to everyone else. But I’m trying, day by day, to create the life of balance I need and deserve.

Question: Is it harder to say yes to things you want than no to things other people want? What would your year of yes look like?

7 thoughts on “my year of yes (and no), oh the places I’ll go!

  1. Fantastic journey that you’re taking me on Gina! Memories of the cruise keeps me smiling. When “Benny and the Jets” plays on the radio I am taken back to that wonderful week-end! Great blog! I am looking forward to your next blog. Luv u honey!

  2. Pingback: life would be easier if it were more like whitewater rafting | my balanced life

  3. Pingback: adventures in dating (or always wear your long pants on a first date) | my balanced life

  4. Pingback: adventures in dating (or pick a team) | my balanced life

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