I recently finished a book by Shonda Rhimes entitled “Year of Yes,” where she spent a year of saying yes to things she normally would have said no to. I was intrigued by the book as I remember her getting interviewed on the book tour for it and how she stated she had lost a tremendous amount of weight during her year of yes.
Whenever a woman loses a significant of amount of weight in a healthy way I want to learn more. But reading this book was more than about learning how she lost weight, it was about how she overcame her fear of being an introvert.
I think it would surprise most people to learn that I consider myself an introvert, more likely an extroverted introvert. (Yes I probably just made that term up.) I hate walking into events not knowing anyone. Sure I can have conversations with strangers. But that moment of walking in with a room full of strangers causes me anxiety. I will sit in my car and wait for a friend to show up. I will not walk in by myself. Often I simply will stay home and not go because of the anxiety. I prefer a one on one conversation than a room full of people.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to go to things, but I often say no if I have nobody to go with. I have to admit I have this crutch that gets me through most social events, his name is Ray and I have been with him since I was 16. He is willing to go to things with me. He is a great sport. But he is really a true introvert. He would choose staying home as his batteries are recharged by being in silence.
What this book did for me was to challenge me to really start to say “yes” to things I normally would say “no” to. The amount of things that I have been saying yes to is allowing me to see my community with new eyes. I am meeting new people and learning new skills.
In the last two weeks I have been asked to be a part of a few fundraisers, I said yes. I have been asked to chaperone my son’s homecoming dance, I said yes. I have been asked to attend a cruise for a friend’s wedding, I said yes. I was asked to speak as a leader on a training call, I said yes. I was asked to attend a meeting on a local collation on hoarding, I said yes. I was invited to a sorority alumni event, I said yes.
What all of these “yes’s” made me realize is that it is up to me to be an active member of my community. Most communities have many opportunities if we just look. This week I am going to go to the library and see what they have to offer. Churches and community education programs have so many options. Start reading billboards at coffee shops to see what is going on. Read local magazines and newspapers for community events.
There are reasons that we need to be a person who says yes. Personally I am working through my anxiety. But we also become a vibrant active community who gathers when times are good and then can gather when times are bad. I am going to continue my experiment of saying yes throughout the winter and see what happens. And if you see me out by myself at an event know that I walked into that event by giving myself a big pep talk in the parking lot!
So this week find what takes you out of your comfort zone that you can say yes to. Is it that junk drawer that needs to be organized, the phone call to a friend, the medical appointment that needs to be scheduled, the gym membership that needs to be purchased? Take a look and say YES!
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.