So here are some things I’ve said ‘Yes’ to since I decided to start saying ‘Yes’ to things. Some of them are very small. Some of them might not even seem like things at all to some people, but they do to me. Small steps. In no particular order.
I got a ticket to see Lou Reed. On my own, initially, and that was fine, but I mentioned it on Facebook and now I’m meeting a friend there.
I agreed to plan a series of writing workshops for groups to be set up in local libraries. I may end up delivering them too, but I’ll have to be very brave and talk money. Realistically.
I applied for a part-time job that I probably don’t want. And I’ll probably go on not wanting it until the moment I’m rejected, at which time it will become the only possible job that would really make me happy. If this happens (likely), please remind me of the fact that I don’t really want it.
I went into the British Library and had a look round the (free) Treasures exhibition. (Did I mention I’m trying to do things on the cheap where possible, simply because I’m just not sure what my financial situation is going to be in the next few months, and I’m trying to be sensible?)
Tomorrow, all on my own, I’m going to see Purcell’s opera The Fairy Queen, broadcast live from Glyndebourne, and screened at my local cinema, and I’m going to get membership of said cinema at the same time, because it will totally pay for itself as I continue to immerse myself in culture!
I have a applied to do an A-level – adult-education ting, over 2 years. There are a number of subjects I’m kind of interested in, all on a Tuesday night, and the timing should work out just right for me to go there straight from work. Here’s the catch – the administrator said that last year, the one I really want to do was cancelled because of lack of interest so, in a pleasingly aleatoric way, I’ve registered my interest in four different subjects and I’ll allow fate to decide which one I enrol for. This is rather in the spirit of buying whatever is reduced in the supermarket and making a meal out of it. I do that too.
I will be seeing a number of undeniably fabulous friends this week. Some of these meet-ups have been planned for a while, others are more spur of the moment. This is exactly what I want to embrace. This, and the friends too, of course.
I had a cull on my underwear drawer. I’ll draw a veil for now …
Here’s the thing I don’t want to do: carry on living my life exactly as it was before, but with the sense that something is missing. Like – oh, I don’t know … let’s say, for example, a husband.
That’s what I’m not going to do – go on the same but with a husband-shaped hole.
Because, to be honest, that would be a ridiculous waste of time and endow the absent one with far too much significance. Whereas, quite obviously, the important one here is me. And the important two is my children. And the important three is me and my children. So, it’s a new life for me.
Brave words, eh? And, strangely, it didn’t take me too long to come to this momentous decision, but carrying out my resolve is going to take some thinking. (All suggestions gratefully received, btw.)
One reason it’s going to take some thinking is because, after 28 of marriage, I’m not really used to thinking about what I want. Like most women of my age, I’ve felt, for some time, like the jam in the sandwich, being slowly but surely squeezed on all sides until I’m spread so thin. I’m virtually invisible. I know what I am to other people – a lift, a meal, a pile of clean laundry, a secretary, a bank, a counsellor, a personal shopper. But what I am to myself is more of a mystery.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to try to change my habits. I’m going to alter my thinking. I’m going to try to work out what my instincts are, and follow them.
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to go about this, but the first thing I’m going to do is say, ‘Yes!’ and see where it leads. I’m not even sure yet what I’m going to say Yes to, but I’m saying Yes to that too. I’m going to say Yes for a whole year, even when I don’t feel like it, and I’m going to write about it here.
Yes, I am.
Feel free to join me.
The other day I had to buy a dozen double damask dinner napkins. Don’t ask why. I just did. Sometimes you simply have to do these things.
Anyway, thanks to the internet I was able simply to click in the appropriate place on the John Lewis website and didn’t have to go and actually ask for them. Who knows what might have happened otherwise!
i only just heard about this little shard of lunacy. have i missed it?
and whose crrrrraaaaazzzzzyyyyy idea is this anyway?
anyone who’s been lucky enough (hemhem) to get an email or even a comment from me will know that i eschew caps wherever possible. it’s not that i think i’m ee cummings or anything, it’s just that caps always seem so shouty – and i don’t like shouty. i get enough of shouty at home, thank you very much.
so if it’s international caps lock day today, should i just slink away? or should i carry on with my beloved unassuming l/c, confident in the knowledge that everyone else will be shouting too loud to hear me? xx
(i’m not always this slow off the mark, btw. i was right up there on ‘talk like a pirate’ day – aaaarrrr.)