I’m thinking about two types of Yes practices. The first is in regard to parenting (or any interactions with kids). There’s great writing and photography out there about saying yes – like this post from Hobo Mama, and the Play at Home Mom “Yes” photo features.
Here were some of our own Yes moments this evening:
- We can stay longer at the playground.
- You can go barefoot.
- You can eat as many plums as you want.
- Yes, I’ll give you another underdog push on the swings.
- You can take a lights-out bath with just a scuba flashlight.
- You can stay in the bath as long as you want.
- We can read more books.
- I can tell you one more story.
I think there’s an important distinction between saying yes and being over-indulgent. Part of the distinction for me, is saying yes to intangible needs and wants, rather than just material requests. I guess it boils down to saying yes to taking the time for meaningful engagement, and I don’t believe that’s ever over-indulgent. I hope that when our kids are adults they’ll remember the underdogs on the playground and the bedtime stories, not just which Lego kits we bought.
Through the course of our evening there were definitely moments that didn’t result in yes responses. We had to wear our seat belts in the car, family peace was better maintained by sharing the plums, and my voice finally reached the story telling limit. But when the balance of the evening involves saying yes more than no, it’s not such a big deal to finally turn the lights out and say goodnight.
I’m also practicing saying yes on a personal level. I’m trying to slow down a little in my mind in order to get clear about what even warrants saying yes. I tend to be way too good at saying no to social events, so I’d like to break free of that. But in a thoughtful way, so that I’m still staying true to my own interests and values. I’m not going for the indiscriminate yes, like Jim Carey in Yes Man.
How about you? Is there anything you’ve been wanting to say yes to, that you could do this week?