Year of Yes

Have you heard of this book?  It's about how Shonda Rhimes decided that for a year she was going to be less afraid and stop saying no to things, and see where life took her.  (Or something, I'm only on chapter 2).  If anyone's seen her recently, it's pretty obvious that it worked out well for her.  She's lost a ton of weight, she has her 4th hit TV show up and running now, and she claims to be way happier!

I had heard about it fairly recently (I think I saw her on Ellen), but being that it was nearing Christmas, I bought it for my best friend instead of getting it for myself.  Well, we recently sat down to do our own Christmas (which happened late, despite seeing each other on Christmas eve) and it turns out that she got me the same book!   I guess it's only fitting.  I mean we call each other "my person," a phrase which was coined by Shonda in Grey's Anatomy 10 years ago. 

And maybe it's not as weird as the year we both independently decided to make a scrapbook for each other.  When Christmas came around and we opened them, we found that we had chosen the exact same scrapbook, in similar colors, had used the same set of pictures, and had created, from scratch, almost the exact same book for each other.  I guess if you've been best friends with someone for 25 years, these things start to happen?

But still, "Year of Yes" is a book that we had never mentioned to each other, never discussed, and never expressed an interest in reading to each other.  It's something we both came across on our own, and decided to get it for the other person.  The only difference in the gift was that she got me the hardcover version, while I got her the CD version since she likes to listen to books in the car on her commute to work.  We had also gotten each other multiple presents, but of course had both picked up the book to open at the same time. 

So now it only seems fitting that we start a book club, consisting of just the two of us, and read this book together.  Let's see where this journey takes us.  I'm not expecting to completely change my life this year, (and certain commitments that I already have will actually force me to say no to a lot of things this year to ensure that I complete what I've set out to do) but Nicole and I had been talking lately about doing more things that are out of our comfort zone.  Saying yes to things that might scare us, but could make us happier people. 

So with that, I'll leave you with this quote from Grey's Anatomy, which seems fitting right now:

Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar, they happen every year. Just set your watch to January. Our reward for surviving the holiday season, is a new year. Bringing on the great tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Put your past behind you, and start over. It’s hard to resist the chance at a new beginning. A chance to put the problems of last year to bed.

Who gets to determine when the old ends, and the new begins? It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event. Big or small. Something that changes us. Ideally, it gives us hope.

A new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories. What’s important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning.

But it’s also important to remember that amid all the crap are a few things really worth holding on to.

Do you have a habit to saying "no" to things because they scare you?
Do you have anything you're trying to change in this upcoming year?