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52 over 50—Writing the year

Saying yes instead of maybe

I’m hibernating—it’s winter. Okay, so what if I’ve been conserving my energy, taking life easy since the beginning of September. Now that the temperature is dropping and the winds are blowing, it’s time to drape myself in layers, cuddle up by the fireplace, and binge on Netflix.

That’s my excuse anyway, and I think it’s a good one, but the reality is, it’s only enabling me to sink deeper into the couch, pour a glass of wine and do nothing. I’m busy. I need my down time and life is hectic. It’s okay to say no now and then.

When my kids were little, a friend said to me, “Teach your girls to say, no.” My girls were four and six at the time, so she wasn’t talking about sex or the war on drugs. She was pointing out that life loads us up with things to do and places to go.

The kid-raising years are a crazy, hectic time: running to and from school, sports events, dance, music, birthday parties. The list is endless, and life is a whirlwind of to-ing and fro-ing. With luck, we balance things and have the energy to get through it.

The thing is, we get so good at saying no, that we forget to say yes. It’s not until the kids are grown and the demands on our time ebbing, that we draw a breath, look around and realize how comfortable we have become saying no. It’s easy to say, not today, or later, once we’ve found that comfortable place on the couch.

Right now, though, I’m switching gears. I'm saying, yup, uh huh, sure, or maybe even, why not? No, this isn’t a New Year’s resolution. It’s a collection of experiences. I am calling it 52 over 50—Writing the Year. 52 for the weeks and 50 for my age (I’m not telling)—52 writing challenges to keep me on task.

To kick start this non-resolution, I’m beginning this week. Christmas is a great time to find things to do, new experiences that will make me leave my burrow on the couch and get active. Choosing the beginning of December as my go-live date offers me four action-packed weeks filled with possibilities, all I have to do is choose them.

To keep me on track, an artist friend, Yvonne Dale, has committed herself to her own 52 Over 50 challenges. She is going to paint one water colour a week. She’s calling her blog, 52 Over 50—Painting the Year. Check out her website:

Right now, I don't know what my challenges are, but big or little, they involve saying yes. Stay tuned for my first adventure because this year, I am having one a week.

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