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21 February 2017 @ 10:56 am
Year of Yes  
IMG 6217Today is my fifty-sixth birthday.

As most of you know, I had a really sucky 2016. In addition to the problems all of us had with that hell-hole of a year, I had my beloved wife Kate's illness and death and some other (not unrelated) personal crises that made me very glad to see it go. So at the beginning of this year I decided that 2017 would be my "Year of Yes."

Yes to fun and excitement. Yes to opportunity and adventure. Yes to new experiences. Yes to love and sex.

It's going well so far. Here's an example: a Facebook post about where to find a new belt led in remarkably short order to a decision to visit Siena, Italy after the Worldcon for the Palio di Siena. I've been doing a lot of other travel on a rather spur-of-the-moment basis, and, closer to home, spending time with friends old and new and seeing a lot of theatre.

Now, I'm not going all Jim Carrey here. I'm still exercising judgement, and I'm still saying "no" some things, including avocados, olives, and cilantro (sorry, avocado fans). But before I say "no," I do try to take a moment to consider whether this is still something I don't want to do. Sometimes I do change my mind -- for example, I had guacamole on my arepas the other day, and they were delicious. (Still hate raw avocado, though.)

"Yes" is not without its costs. For one thing, saying "yes" to some things inevitably means "no" to others. My trip to Siena means that I will be on the other side of the world for the August 21 solar eclipse -- which will likely be the only solar eclipse within driving distance of my home in my lifetime. "Yes" has also put me in situations that push my boundaries, and in some cases have really frightened me. But all human activities have risks, and I'm determined to face them with mindfulness and learn from the experience.

I hope that you will join me in my Year of Yes. Let's not let the bastards wear us down.

Tim Illingworthtimill on February 21st, 2017 08:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe the July 2nd Palio would fit better?
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 21st, 2017 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm meeting up with friends who will be at the August one.
wild_patiencewild_patience on February 22nd, 2017 04:21 am (UTC)
Oh, I feel old. I remember watching that special on TV when I was a kid. Now I can't listen to her - her voice drives me nuts.

But, yeah, you deserve a good year. Win awards for your writing. Fall in love. All that good stuff.
joycemocha on February 22nd, 2017 05:21 pm (UTC)
Personal request--please please please get pix and give me a full report on the Palio! Ever since I read Marguerite Henry's book about it (Gaudenzia, Pride of the Palio), I've been fascinated by it. And if I could give you some $, would you pick me up a Catherine of Siena medal? She's always been one of my favorite saints....any woman with the ovaries to say "Be a man, Father--go back to Rome!" to a 14th-century Pope is pretty impressive....

Plus if you ever feel inspired to try a mountain writing retreat, I'm getting enough connections in Wallowa County that I might be able to put together an impromptu one....