Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 20

And here we are. There are so many amazing things I can say about today but none, for me, will surpass the joy of seeing a woman be sworn in as a vice president of the United States. A woman of color. What a day this was.

If you didn’t listen to Amanda Gorman ( @amandascgorman )
and her incredible poem today, I can’t encourage you enough to go find it. I had back to back meetings today from 7am to 6pm but I still had CNN in the background the whole time and was able to hear Garth Brooks sing Amazing Grace and I cried.

I am grateful for this day and I am paying attention to the good. I will remember it. May it be the beginning of many more.

Yes to breaking barriers. Yes to hope once again. Yes to a new day!

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 19

There are so many things I am thinking about and want to talk about but my mind is all over the place and I have a review at work tomorrow, it’s inauguration day, and my sciatica is flaring ( possibly connected to the prior two points. )

So I will share something lighter instead. Earlier when I shared my awesome green smoothie ( which we are still drinking daily by the way! ) My friend @evelyn_skye shared with me several of her and her family’s tips. One of them was these quick and easy veggie wraps. I finally tried them this weekend and have already had three since then. I used what I have at hand which was black beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, chicken and avocado. I had already eaten the ten zucchini I roasted but next time I’ll add those too.

I now have some amazing person helping me with my calendar at work which means I have 30 minutes set aside for lunch ( as opposed to 3 minutes in the past ) so that coupled with this super simple idea means I now get to have a lunch that includes more veggies and protein too. YES.

And just to call it out because my diet driven brain is definitely saying it: I know the tortilla and cheese aren’t “healthy” and I know corn is not the ‘best’ vegetable and avocado is fatty. Blah blah. But here’s the deal, before all this, I was eating crackers and goat cheese for lunch on a good day and cookies and chocolate on a less good day. And neither of those has half the nutrition this meal has. And the goal here is adding more nutrition, so it’s a win! ( I still eat cookies and chocolate too btw, the goal is to add more nutrition not to restrict anything. )

So here we are. One more simple win. If I can find 3-4 other lunch options and 3-4 dinner options, I am set for life, or at least for a few months!

Yes to better nutrition, yes to simple, fast, and delicious options. Yes yes yes.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 18

Some days I find I have nothing to say when the evening comes and it’s time for me to post and then other days I have so much to say, I can’t pick which to focus on. Today was one of the latter.

I have been lucky enough to have an advanced reader’s copy of an upcoming book by @authorlisagenova titled “Remember” which is a nonfiction book about memory. This book is incredibly readable and absolutely fascinating and practically helpful in a million ways. But here’s the part that stopped me today:

“Because we remember what we pay attention to, we might want to be mindful about what we focus on. Optimists pay attention to positive experiences, and so these events are consolidated into memory. If you’re depressed, you’re less likely to consolidate happy events or pleasant experiences into memory because happiness doesn’t jibe with your mood. You don’t even notice the sunnier moments when you’re only focusing on the dark clouds. You find what you look for. If you look for magic every day, if you pay attention to the moments of joy and awe, you can then capture these moments and consolidate them into memory. Over time, your life’s narrative will be populated with memories that make you smile.”

This is exactly why I pick a word of the year because it helps me remember what to pay attention to and why I picked YES this year so I can pay attention to the good stuff more and so I can create my life’s narrative to be positive. I firmly believe this is a tangible way I can absolutely train myself and my brain to be more optimistic.

So here’s to saying yes to paying attention to the GOOD stuff because every single day has good stuff and because you remember what you pay attention to!

There are so many other gems in the book and I can talk about it for days. It comes out in March and it’s highly recommended.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes #onelittleword

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 17

My sweet husband bought me these bath bombs back in September for my birthday, I thought it was time to put them to use.

I am usually the kind of person who does things from the inside out, as in I think about what I want, figure out how to make it happen, and then create structures and make plans and then I go do it. I don’t need external accountability or any other outside factor.

But, lately I feel tired and apathetic and I can’t even get myself to journal which is how I’d usually do the looking within to come up with the list of what I want.

Which is why I’ve been defaulting to the thing I love that is easy: reading. I am not mad at myself, I am also healing and doing 10-20 minutes of exercise daily, I am slowly working on my storytelling and of course I am working a lot.

But I still know that when I spend more time really connecting with what I want/love and then work towards doing it more, I am always happier. Always.

So I think, at this moment, I need some of that external accountability. Some outside in structures to help me get going enough to get past my inertia. For me, this will be a combination of some classes, picking a few people to help me feel accountable, and keeping track of how things are going. I will write some plans down tomorrow and then set a 10-day goal to just move forward and not question things. Non-negotiable. Then I can step back and evaluate.

Here’s to hoping it starts the positive cycle.

Yes to doing what it takes. Yes to finding what works. Yes to both accepting what is with grace and still knowing I can do more to create the life I want.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 16

Family photo day today. We used to take photos every weekend for the last 8-9 years but have shifted to monthly photos in the last year. These photos are still some of my very favorite memories form all of our years. This particular tradition also helped me get over my ‘i don’t like to be in pictures’ thing. I want to make sure that when I am not around anymore, there are thousands of photos of me for my kids to share with their kids. For all the years before this tradition began, I had almost no photos of myself since I am the official family photographer.

Yes to finding creative ways to get around my hangups. Yes to doing it anyway. So much of life, for me, is being scared, being anxious, being uncomfortable and doing it anyway!

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 15

And here we are, it’s finally Friday. This week decidedly felt like seven weeks long so I am grateful that we’re starting a long weekend. I certainly need it.

Here are some things I’m saying yes to right now:

– Yes to slowing down to let my body heal – I have been on medication for over 15 days now and my sciatica is finally starting to dissipate. I resisted the medication and time away from exercise but I’m admitting that I needed it and should have done it much sooner. If exercise and health is a lifestyle and not a sprint, taking time to heal is necessary and not an inconvenience.

– Yes to friendship and connection. I am so grateful for the few deep friendships I have in my life and for making the time to connect. I am pretty introverted and pretty happy alone but these friendships have been meaningful and honest and kind and I am so grateful for them. Yes to making time for deep connection.

– Yes to being here for it all. There’s a lot going on right now. With the world, with America, with work, with school and with life. And I am here for it all. I am listening, learning, leaning in and taking it all one day at a time.

So here we are. Here’s to a weekend of rest and filling my cup back up. Next week promises to be a doozy too.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 14

Because we were both planning to work late tonight, my sweet husband came home in the middle of the day. The original plan was for us to have lunch together but I decided what would help me the most was to take a walk during that time instead.

So we took an hour-long walk and chatted. It was a warm day here and the sun was shining and it was the very best way to spend an hour in the middle of my day.

Yes to connecting with people I love and yes to being outside more. Always yes to sunshine and walking.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 13

Are we really only 13 days into this year? How is that even possible? All those posts from early last week where things were calm and quiet are moot now. This week has been hectic, intense and jam-packed.

I know that juggling home and work and pandemic and kids’ schedules is hard and it’s been for me, too. But I also have worked from home for ten years while my little one was 0-10 and had just barely transitioned to working from the office when covid shut our lives down.

One of the advantages of of all that time was spending not just quality but volume of time together with my kids and really connecting with who they are, their values, and the things that matter to them. As a result, I feel a deep connection with my kids and I really enjoy the privilege of getting to share so much of their lives. Of course I would prefer that they go to school and experience a more typical childhood, interacting with their cohort all day long, but if I have to be stuck at home with anyone, I am grateful to be stuck with my people.

Love them so much.

Yes to family and yes to being there for the struggles, for the minutia and for the laughter. Always for the laughter.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 12

Today was insane. I had back to back meetings but I was especially amazed at how much context switching I had to do all day. At some point in my day, I stepped back and thought about how in the last few hours I talked about 9 different topics at work, talked to each kid about their day and classes, ordered groceries for pickup later this week, on and off worked on a presentation for tomorrow am, prepped for book club tonight, wrote a letter to the head of my kids’ school, and replied to a parent in my younger son’s class.

I find that the hardest part of my life right now is the sheer number of things I am switching between. And one of the things I need to spend some time on is making that list and being intentional about the role I want to play in each of those scenarios. I feel like a lot of what I do now is do whatever’s needed. As opposed to being super intentional about my priorities, how I can best grow and how I can best serve.

So this long weekend I plan to take a step back, make a list and take a good long look at how I can be intentional.

Yes to choosing. Yes to stepping back.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 11

Today went by in a blur. Back to back meetings and no time to breathe in between. And now it’s 7pm and I am really tired and don’t feel like doing anything productive.

This is one reason I usually try to wake up early and pay myself first. Before the day has begun is the best time to do my personal work. Journaling, sketching, exercising.

The thing is, I’ve been having a lot of trouble waking up early in the morning lately. 8am is the earliest I can do, which is way too late to get anything productive done.

So my plan is to start going to bed earlier. Or force myself to wake up earlier for a few days so I can start getting tired earlier and reset my days.

I can’t tell if this need to hibernate in the mornings is a winter thing but I know that it makes me considerably more ineffective. And I also know that days I don’t pay myself down, I am definitely not the best version of myself. So here’s to hoping it works.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 10

As we close out the first week of 2021 (can it really be that it’s just been one week??) I have been thinking about all the things that happened in this one week. The huge, terrible things and the small wonderful things.

I am trying to take a moment to celebrate the small wins. To celebrate the moments we found equilibrium, the moments we got to hear a yes when we expected a no, the moments we got to hug each other or laugh together.

Part of choosing yes this year was sitting with what is and not trying to resist it. And that takes so much practice. There is so much internalized and external noise in how things “should” be so when they aren’t that way, there is so much judgement. I am trying to cut through the noise and see if I can find my own internal truth. What matters most to me. I am trying to connect with my own values and choices. So I can let go of others’ shoulds and build a life that is meaningful to me.

Here’s to paying attention to the conversations in my head so I can discern the difference and let go of the noise that’s not mine to carry.

Yes to listening. Yes to living my own truth and my own life.

#yearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 9

I seem to still be moving slowly and not feeling inspired to do much. Instead of panicking I am trying to choose to say yes to what is and be here for it.

I spent the day reading two books, roasting veggies, and finally taking a bath after ten years of not being able to. It was bliss to sit in the warm water and close my eyes and just be here.

In the last week, I’ve been paying attention to random anxious thoughts that pop up ( and there have been many ) and challenging myself to do real-time CBT on myself. Naming it out loud when I am catastrophizing, etc. I am also putting myself on the spot and asking what the worst possible outcome could be and what the best possible outcome could be and really calling myself out to be here and follow the strain of thought to its end.

It’s been helpful more often than not.

Yes to slowing down. Yes to grace. Yes to naming anxious thoughts and yes to being present to it. Yes to life.

#yearofyes