Tuesday, September 26, 2017

51 Yesses for My 51st Birthday

I started this blog in the summer of 2011, when I was trying to leap into myself after a heartbreak. 

The title was inspired by the following: I had said, when asked if I wanted to skydive, "No, I will never do that." After I said that, I got to thinking--how many things do I say no to without hesitation? What would happen if I started saying yes to things that made me uncomfortable or I was afraid of? 

I saw in my Facebook memories today a post from this blog that was a list of 45 things I wanted to do in my 45th year. I didn't do many of them that year, but it's a great list and I've done some of them since then. For this birthday, September 27th, 2017, I'm making a list of 51 things I will say yes to in my 51st year.  

“There are people who prefer to say 'yes' and there are people who prefer to say 'no'. Those who say 'yes' are rewarded by the adventures they have. Those who say 'no' are rewarded by the safety they attain.” --Keith Johnstone

1) Opening my heart as wide as possible
2) Making opportunities to dance whenever and wherever possible
3) Living in my body, this body
4) Sleep and deep rest
5) More face to face communication rather than social media or texting
6) The bounty of fresh produce in Merced
7) Loving my high school students
8) Examining my own biases
9) Mindfulness practice--finding space between thoughts
10) Indulging in television shows
11) Cutting my belongings down by 3/4
12) Kayaking 
13) Being in water as often as possible
14) More Sweetie Pie 
15) Writing letters
16) Digging in the dirt
17) Cooking for myself
18) Self-examination
19) Telling the truth more often
20) My service work
21) Living within my budget
22) Reading books
23) Buying new music every month
24) Riding my bicycle
25) Laughing big laughs
26) Game nights at my house
27) Keeping my evenings and weekends free of grading and class prep
28) Checking in to make sure I understand what people are saying to me & if they understand me
29) Choices that may disappoint people but are in my best interest
30) Being aware-- as often as possible--that I am a small cog in a giant universe
31) Routine
32) Following recipes as they are written
33) New fabulous dresses
34) Down time
35) Interactive online course delivery for my students
36) My own YouTube channel
37) Road Trips! 
38) Wearing dress up clothes as every day clothes
39) Letting go of parts of me that don't fit any more
40) Supporting & fighting for the safety and security of all community members
41) Gratitude for the fact I'm alive and survived all my self-harming instincts
42) Grief, where necessary for the belongings, parts of me, relationships, and places that are no longer mine or I'm letting go of
43) Flowers on the table
44) My cats & the affection they need
45) Alone time
46) Reaching out when I feel sad or afraid
47) Writing down my feelings 
48) Celebrating life
49) My individual beliefs, even if they might separate me from others
50) Time with friends that doesn't involve discussing work or rehearsing for a project
51) Hikes in Yosemite.