I’m rapidly approaching the end of Season 2 of my favourite show. Grace and Frankie is sharp and witty and centred around the late blooming of already well-developed and interesting women. Season 1 had an episode about a Say Yes Night, in which everyone is forbidden to say no. The idea is to set aside all your usual reflexes and habits, your hesitations and hangups, and Say Yes to every opportunity that comes your way.
This seems like a great idea if it ends up with dancing on tables and chatting with handsome men, like it did for Grace and Frankie. It leads to the impulse to live fully in that state of acceptance of opportunities. But Saying Yes without any filters will lead to a life outside of the lines of where you want to be. A life of Say Yes means a life without boundaries, without defending the borders of what matters to you.
As I’ve said before, No is a Complete Sentence.
How do we balance the Say Yes moments with No is a Complete Sentence? Self-awareness. Experience. Time. Age. Why is age a 4 letter word to some people? Age is a gift, a blessing. Much better than the alternative.
I had a recent Say Yes moment myself, when I received an email inviting me to be considered as a Board member of the Better Business Bureau for Eastern Ontario. My initial reflex was to say no. No, I’m busy. No, this isn’t a priority. No, I can’t fit it in. Just, no. Then I thought this could be an interesting opportunity, to turn from my usual habits, to Say Yes, to email in my CV, and see what happens. I decided to trust that things would unfold as they should.
There is a special sweetness to saying no when it means taking better care of yourself. Saying Yes can be a little scary. It’s an opening up, a stepping outside of the lines.
A couple of weeks ago I got the call, inviting me to join the Board. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to contribute to the business community in Ottawa, to meet peers, make connections. Saying Yes feels great.