Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This post, on the topic of YES, is the last in a series for "Five for Ten Again."

I should've said yes to...

...pursuing a degree in journalism
...trapeze lessons on the beach
...the free tickets to the concert where my friend went backstage and met Jimmy Buffett
...every high school adventure that arose
...the colleges that wanted me but were "too far away" for my parents' comfort
...more outings with girlfriends (then and now)
...more outings with boys (only then, Hubs, only then)
...the full marathon distance when I still had good knees
...organized sports when I was a teenager
...karaoke (in the safety of my friend's house does NOT count)
...every piece of clothing that I wanted but thought was too "weird"

I thought of making a list of the times I should NOT have said "yes," but then I realized they all served their purpose: every "mistake" I made led me to grow, change, be braver, learn, come to the point where I am in my life.

Very often, when faced with an opportunity--to meet new people, go somewhere new, try something different--I instinctly think "No, because..." The "reasons" tend to be excuses. Truth is, I'm not so great at change, quite shy socially when I don't know too many people, and deathly afraid of embarrassing myself. I married someone whose approach to life is more along the lines of: "Why not?" I have to push myself every day to live my life that way, which is why I have a magnet on my fridge that says: "Do one thing that scares you every day." It has been those times I was scared but made myself do it anyway that have given me the most joy (Hey, guys, check it out: I am subconsciously combining 3 of the "Five for Ten" topics: courage, happy, and yes!). I've realized that there is a much greater risk of regret, for me, when saying "no" than when saying "yes."


  1. I totally relate to that! My first reaction is always a no! I have been trying very hard to not say anything at first and just think it through before shutting it down.

    GREAT post!!!

  2. This post made me think. A lot. I feel like this part could've been picked right out of my heart: "I'm not so great at change, quite shy socially when I don't know too many people, and deathly afraid of embarrassing myself."

    I also struggle a great deal to say "yes" to situations that (might) make me feel that way, and having kids has totally forced me out of my comfort zone. Though it can't bring back high school adventures and a degree in creative writing, I know it's kept me from missing out on things that I'd look back on and regret.

  3. Like you and ck, the fear of embarrassing myself can be overwhelming. I've gotten over it recently with my favorite mantra (it's not my business what other people think of me), but I still feel myself automatically avoiding situations where I'll be thrown from my comfort zone.

    Honestly, I am surprised that someone such as yourself, who I see as beautiful, charming, vivacious, etc., has the same insecurities and fears. This is why I love blogging -- we get to see that, at heart, we're all so much the same.

  4. I instinctly say no, too. And then I complain about not having enough friends and not getting out enough!

    And you know, it's not too late to say Yes to many of those things on your list. Especially the karaoke. Oh, how I love me some karaoke! :-)

  5. This piece really resonates with me, Liz. You have gotten me to reflect on the turning points I too have said "No" to. And all of these 5 for 10 posts on Yes are helping me think harder before saying Yes or No - to the big things and the small things - so that I don't have to live a life of regrets.

  6. I think I could write a list a mile long of things I should have said yes to as well. But isn't it true that there are some things that we didn't say yes to before that we can still say yes to now?

  7. I don't think I could ever say yes to karaoke. (Probably those around me are glad about that!) =>

  8. The thing is, it is never really too late, except for the high school stuff, to say yes and start really living...

    Too much in life is just taking a chance...and anymore, I am up for the challenge...

    Hope you are on the mend...

  9. So many things that you could still say "YES" to - I say go for it!

  10. I totally live by the saying "Do one thing every day that scares you". Yesterday I cleaned under my son's bed (that was freaking terrifying) and today I'm going to tackle my knicker & sock drawer...

  11. This is perfect! Knowing there are times you should have said yes and that the times you did say yes but should have. The lessons we take with us every time we make a decision are amazing.

  12. I love this. I have always gotten more wisdom and strength from my mistakes than my successes.

  13. A very good point - saying yes to do things and step out of the rut is a lot harder than staying in the rut...

  14. Oh, Liz. I think maybe everyone should write a "shoulda said yes" list. It's not easy, but I think it might be useful. And, I LOVE the combining of topics. You know I like efficiency. Nice work.

  15. I love your should have said yes list..and the fact you thought about it means you will say yes to some great opportunities in the future (hopefully a backstage chance to meet Buffett..for sure!)


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