Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011: My Year of YES

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If you’ve been meaning to ask me to do something crazy, this year might be a good time to present your request.

I’m not a risk-taker by nature and, in fact, I’m likely to find an excuse not to do anything that even begins to register on my Yikes-o-Meter. It’s not hard… I have seven kids. Seven kids can buy you a whole lot of “I’d love to, but…” It’s not honest, though, to say I choose “no” for any other reason than plain old fear.

Suggest any adventure, and I’ll give you a list of fearful reasons to avoid it: I could get hurt. I won’t have time. I would probably suck at it. I can’t make it work with my schedule, I have too much on my plate, I don’t know anything about it, my feet are too narrow, I’m too short, I’m too tall, too old, too young, it’ll affect my chances of getting elected if I ever decide to run for office, I’m vegan…

If that doesn’t cover it, I can think of some other reason.

Perhaps it was securing a promise of a new book contract over the Christmas 2010 holiday that got me so excited about 2011, but I woke up with just one resolution on January 1st: This is my Year of YES.

No excuses this year are allowed to keep me from doing something I want to, but am simply afraid to. So far, that means a promise to myself to jump into an icy lake at the Winterfest Splash, try roller derby, and make an attempt at stand-up comedy this year.

Who knows what else 2011 will bring?

Looking back, I realize I’ve done many, many fearless things – I just didn’t overthink them. I married at 18. I was a mom at 19, and before I knew it, I was a single mom. Then, I married a guy with four kids. I accidentally adopted two more. I launched a magazine without knowing the first thing about publishing. I published a book without knowing anything about marketing or distribution. I became a blogger when I didn’t know what a blog was.

Some of the biggest blessings and greatest successes in my life have stemmed from moments of (albeit thoughtless) fearlessness. This year, I’m making plenty of room at my mental table, because nothing is off the menu.

What have you always wanted to try, but instead passed up because of fear? What would your life look like if you committed to making 2011 your Year of YES? So far, my prospects look like blue lips (Winterfest Splash), black and blue thighs (roller derby), and marinara (do they really throw tomatoes at bad comediennes?).

I can’t wait!

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