I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. I spent much of my young adulthood trying to “15-minutes-a-day” myself to perfection, and what it has given me 10 years later is a real aversion to anything that sounds like self-improvement.
Attn. World: You’ll have to take me as I am.
But certain times lend themselves to reflection and course correction, endings and beginnings chief among them. Beginnings and endings both require that quality I’ve come to value above improvement: intention.
I have decided that this is my Year of Yes. That is my prime intention. My goal, in times of distress, indecision, anger, or fear, is to find a way to say yes. Yes to whatever is happening at the moment, and yes to myself.
Friends may recall that Yes has been kicking around in my head for a while.
I would like to spend more time around people who say yes. (I would also like it if my children became people who say yes, but that is another issue entirely.)
Saying yes is hard to figure out sometimes. One book I have liked on the subject is Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. She has some concrete examples of making the choice to say yes when no seems to be the only option.
In our house this week we are cuddling under a down blanket, watching snow fall and tending to “barky” coughs while reading The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden, a story full of Yes. Here is the lovely passage where we stopped today:
As he was about to leave the shop, Sai Fong said, “You want Chinese fortune cookie?”
“I guess so,” said Mario. “I never had one.”
Sai Fong took down a can from the shelf. It was full of fortune cookies—thin wafers that had been folded so there was an air space in each one. Mario bit into a cookie and found a piece of paper inside. He read what it said out loud: Good Luck Is Coming Your Way. Be Ready.
“Ha he!” laughed Sai Fong—two high notes of joy. “Very good advice. You go now. Always be ready for happiness. Goodbye.”