12 Things to Say Yes To

Worth reading again for me, so I'm a reposting. 

I am going to make a big ol' sign 
for my family room that says YES.  

Below is a list of things I think people should say yes to.  It's not exhaustive, so please comment below if you have things to add.

Say Yes to Being You

I've been seeing this quote by Dr. Seuss posted on Facebook a lot lately:

Today you are you, that is truer than true. 
There is no one alive who is youer than you.

It's catchy, but it's also profound.   It is easy to go through life trying to do and be what other people thing is important and miss what is uniquely YOU in the process.   Everyone of us has a unique skill set which combined with our interests makes us profoundly unique.  If you are creative, chances are you like to learn things and you can be a pretty good jack of all trades.   But after you've acquired a skill set of about 12 things maybe it's time to really say YES to going deeply into one of those that fits the sweet spot of your interests. 

Say Yes to Setting Goals

Accomplishments don't happen without planning.   I have to work at saying yes to this because I like to try and do some many things.  But making a list of what fits with what is uniquely YOU and pursuing that is important work in becoming who we are meant to be.

Say Yes to Working Hard
Once you've decided on some goals, say YES to working hard.   This means focusing and not doing some other things you'd like to do. 

Say Yes to Getting Help

This relates to Saying Yes to Being You.  Since we can't do and be everything and we're saying YES to doing things that are unique to our skill set and interest, it leaves some things un-done by US.  I remember reading in Randy Paush's The Last Lecture that he thinks we should pay people to do things.   Recently I did that in getting our trim painted in our house.  I could do it, yes, but would I rather use my time to make an artwork, or design a new pattern or to paint my trim?  Since I can't do everything, and I really want to make artwork because that's uniquely me, I opted to get help painting the trim. 

Say Yes to Rest

You must get rest.  Everyone needs a different amount of it, but having some restful living every day will contribute to being healthier and more creative and more uniquely you.  If you're creative, chances are your mind is always working, and it's important to turn it off for a while.  I'm not advocating drugs.  But here is a link to an article on how to get a good night's sleep

Say Yes to Being Healthy

Eat your greens and reds and violets and all.  Colorful food = healthy body.  Healthy body = ability to do things.  You don't have to cook unless that's uniquely you.  Bagged salad and veggies work fine.  An apple is easy.   Moving doesn't mean you have to do something you hate.   Maybe it means dancing with your dog (yup, did that yesterday, she thinks I'm crazy). 

Say Yes to Trying Something New

Making things with our hands is rewarding and relaxing.  Learn to knit or paint or rug-hook or cook.  Or if you're an artist who sells your work, it is really, really important to make some things that you have no intention of selling when you make it.  You can decide later to sell it if you want, but give yourself some time to color outside the lines. 

Say Yes to Smelling the Roses

Ten minutes in a hammock on a beautiful May day can totally recharge your batteries.  Listening to the surf at the ocean can reduce anxiety.   Time spent building sand castles with kids and grandkids builds memories.

Say Yes to Helping Others

Chances are this is not your problem.  But it is worthwhile to get involved in some way in your community helping out others.  It gives us a wider view of the world. 

Say Yes to Failure

Really, Dixie?   Well, what I really mean is to try something and be at peace with it if it doesn't work out.  Sometimes you won't be successful, but if you don't try something which has the possibility of failing, you might never get anything important done.   Safety is not always safe.  Some of the people we consider to be huge successes only got there after a thousand failures. 

Say Yes to Success

"Well, duh, Dixie.  Of course I want to say YES to Success."

I don't know if we always do.  Sometimes we can sabotage ourselves without understanding that's what we're doing.  We choose not to take the next step out of fear, or we worry about what will happen if we really do succeed.  Or we overload ourselves so that there is no way we can possibly accomplish some of our heart-felt desires.  Or maybe that's just me?  ;-)

Say Yes to Saying No

You knew it would ultimately come to this, right?   Our time is finite and we can only say yes to so many things.  Which means we must say no to some things.   There is a book called "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions by Spencer Johnson. One of the helpful tips in the book was to ask yourself the question "What Would I Do If I Weren't Afraid?"   For me, the answer is often, I would say "no" if I weren't afraid of disappointing someone.  Or I would do X if I weren't afraid of falling on my face.

Another way to figure out what to say Yes and No to is to pit things against each other...it helps to then identify ways we might be wasting our time

make a painting or shop for sales at the mall
check facebook or do the dishes (uh-oh)

you get the drift...

I'm wondering what you will be thoughtfully be saying yes to?  And maybe that's another thing to add to the list....say yes to taking time to decide whether you're going to say Yes or No....

Accidental Art?

This is the inside of a paint can which I had covered with plastic wrap and then let sit for a week or two.  It's a beautiful textural pattern isn't it?  It reminds me of lace.  After I took this picture I got back to painting.  :-)

Painting Furniture

I bought this antique craftsman style oak table at an auction recently.  I used to own a larger version of this table in my old Arts and Crafts style house. The table above is perfect next to a comfortable chair, with enough tabletop for a lamp, a phone and a spot for s mug.  It is in rough shape, though. 

It looks like it had been painted at one time and then stripped. The stains give a clue as to why it had been painted. So now while I continue to paint cabinets I am thinking of what might work for a color and finish on this table.   

Now's the Time to Ride That Horse

I like this blurry photo because it has a painterly quality. But also because it captures a half-time moment in a soccer playoff game when the score was 2-2.

There are so many moments in life when it feels like things can go one way or another.  Sometimes with effort we can help determine the outcome. But sometimes that is not the case. Figuring out which it is an important skill. 

My youngest son's soccer team has been competing in the playoffs toward the state championship. The season has had some very tough moments and some heroic ones as well, sports-wise. 

It's been fun to cheer them on from the sidelines and make signs for encouragement at games.  The sign below was made by another mom, but I love the sentiment.  

Life brings you seasons and opportunities that will never come again.  These are the purple years (school colors).  Now is the time to ride that horse.  

Next up the Broncos will face a very talented team ranked 24th in the nation.  Will grit and determination and heart win the day?  Go Broncos! 

Even Shelby the dog has got the spirit!
Too bad she can't do laundry.  ;-) 

Screen Printing Workshop at the
University of Maine Museum of Art

Some time ago I bought an Erin Flett pillow which I adore. 

This pillow made me want to learn how to screen print.  My sister told me about a screen printing workshop taught by Annette S. Dodd at the   University of Maine Museum of Art.  I've been wanting to take a class on this for a long time.  Annette is a great teacher! 

My sister was smart and wore a shirt as a smock.  

Above left is a photo I took at sunset on a lake of my other sister's dog.  The process used embroidery hoops fitted with screen printing fabric.  Wherever you wanted white to be, you painted Modge Podge on the screen printing fabric.  Other people made some beautiful objects.  

Here is my print.  It's a bit more painterly than the photo I used as inspiration.

I was excited by what you can do.  Here are some other class images:

It was very fun.  I've done other kinds of print making and look forward to trying this again! 

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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