The Year of Yes

Why 2017 is the year of taking chances.
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Why 2017 is the year of taking chances.
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Like most people, I have a somewhat complicated relationship with resolutions. I enjoy making them, though they're typically forgotten by the second week in January. But I also know that the beginning of the year is a good time for reflection and fine-tuning how we lead our lives, and shouldn't simply be dismissed. Lately I've been hesitant to embrace change more than usual, which affects more than just me. As a mother, I need to lead by example, which is why, in addition to my singular resolution, I've deemed 2017 "The Year Of Yes."

This all came about a little over a month ago while I was talking to Cristina on the phone. I was telling her about a new dance class I wanted to take, immediately followed by a list of excuses for why I wasn't ready for it (I had to be in better shape, I didn't have the time to wash and style my hair, and traffic in the mornings would be brutal). Cristina interrupted me and said, 'That's enough. You need to just go." I had gotten so wrapped up in making sure all of the circumstances would be perfect–I'd be in phenomenal shape bopping in a cool-dance-girl outfit (note to self: figure out what that is) in the front of class–that I'd forgotten about the most important step: just showing up.

I've written before about the struggles of being a perfectionist and how it's held me back from experiences I find intimidating. But Sloan's at an age where she notices everything around her, with a particularly intense focus on me and what I do. I want her to grow up feeling like even if she's not good at something or it makes her nervous, that it's important to at least try it out. Over the holidays some of my girlfriends and I went ice-skating–it was the first time I'd been in probably 25 years–and they insisted that it would come back to me. But after hobbling around on the ice for a while, it became clear that it simply wasn't going to happen for me. Two of my girlfriends locked arms with me and they literally dragged me around the rink. Instead of being down on myself about being embarrassingly bad on skates, I was able to laugh at myself and it turned out to be such a fun evening, not just in spite of, but because of that.. 

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I'm proud to say that I've been consistently going to (and loving) my dance class ever since I made myself show up. I'm firmly planted in the back of the room, in old workout clothes, flailing to keep up with the routines. But I got there. And this year will be dedicated to committing myself–whether it's an event on the other side of town (when I'd rather be in pajamas on my couch), trying a new pas time, or taking risks at work. No matter how scary things may seem, if I focus on simply saying 'yes,' I'll figure out the rest as I go.