Early Spring 2007
Every year I hunker down and create my official itemized list of New Year's Resolutions. This year, I've decided to use a new approach -- a one-liner resolution: ''Just say yes.'' When I reflect on my life thus far, I'm convinced that I've missed out on more love, life, and laughter due to my noes than my yesses. Remember how much we hated hearing ''no'' as children? While the noes of our youth were generally given for our own good, the noes we inflict upon ourselves as adults many times are not.
I still wince when I think of my first ''no'' that had an unfortunate outcome. Eons ago, when I played Anne Frank in my high school play, unbeknownst to me, a friend of Otto Frank's (yes, I'm talking about Anne's father) was in the audience. To make a long story short, Mr. Frank and I began corresponding. Four years later, when I told Mr. Frank I was planning a trip to Europe, he invited me to his home in Switzerland. I felt as though John Travolta had invited me to the Academy Awards! How could I refuse? Cut to awestruck me standing in a phone booth in Birsfelden, phone number of Otto Frank in hand, not even able to pick up the phone. Back then, I had no problem saying ''yes'' to quitting algebra, diminishing my shot at a four-year university, and I was all about ''yes'' when it came to nightly disco hopping versus night school. But here I was presented with a life-enriching opportunity, and what did I say? Unfortunately, not ''yes.''
When it comes to this tendency to say ''no'' (by our actions as well as with our words), I know I'm far from alone. Last week when I stayed with my sister who was bedridden after a complicated surgery, friends offered to bring dinners to her home. Guess what she said? The same thing one of my best friends said when I offered to fly to Colorado to help her move into a new apartment last spring. How did saying ''no'' benefit either of them?
This brings me to my new mission for 2007 -- saying yes: YES to new adventures, new friends, old friends, and everything in between. Sometimes this may mean treating myself to a decadent brownie; other times, it may mean saying ''yes'' to cutting back on calories. The bottom line is that I'm determined not to resist any good thing out of fear, pride, apathy, or feeling undeserving.
I'll never have another chance to meet Otto Frank, but this year, if Meryl Streep should invite me for tea, you can bet I'll be on the next plane.