Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 265

Happy equinox.

There are 100 days left in 2021. Depending on who you are and how you filter life, this might feel exciting that we still get 100 more days or alarming that we only have 100 left.

I’m in neither camp today. These days I am leaning into “it is what it is” attitude and trying not make a bigger meaning around things.

I’ve been really tired lately and have a lot of headaches so I’ve been giving myself grace with what I can get done. Some things are behind and others are doing ok. I’m regressing and I am progressing and I am also standing still in some areas.

And that’s just what it is.

Yes to what is.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 264

Back in 1996, I was living in NYC and working during the day and taking classes at night I loved having a variety of options to pick from and tried to take as many as I could.

One of the classes I took was American Sign Language. I wanted to learn ASL for years but it wasn’t offered in my college so I was excited to find it in NY. After a few years, I volunteered at the NY Society for the Deaf which was my only way to practice.

After I quit my job on Wall Street and became a teacher, I had to quit that volunteer job and I didn’t get to practice again for years.

About ten-twelve years ago, I was working at a scrapbooking convention and a customer came and she was deaf and I pulled out some of my rusty ASL and was able to help her.

And then nothing again.

Tonight, for the first time since then, we went climbing with a deaf climber and I was able to practice once more. I am super super rusty but we managed to communicate nonetheless. It felt so wonderful to get to do it again after so many years.

Now I have to practice.

Yes to being a forever learner.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 263

As the year winds down, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals will be for next year. As I was thinking about that, I realized that we are about to walk into a season of our lives where there will be big milestones.

My older son so be applying to college in the next calendar year, my younger son will finish middle school and soon after transition to high school. I can’t believe that in one year, my son will be the age I was when I left Turkey. That was a big turning point in my life.

As we walk into this stage, I have been thinking a lot about the kid of parent I want to be in this stage and the way I can support them best.

I think all the major relationships in my life shift over time. My relationship with my husband, my parents, my kids, my good friends. Who I am changes, where our relationship is changes and who they are changes too. So many of these dynamics change and it helps me to take a step back and be intentional about how I show up to them.

Yes to shifting, growing and learning.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 262

Almost as soon as a weekend starts, I worry about it being over. I find that I am needing the downtime, the quiet time and the reset more than usual lately.

I am working to slow down my mental chatter and create space daily so that so much doesn’t ride on the weekend. I am wanting to slow down time in general.

But onward it goes.

Yes to quiet weekends.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 261

Year of Yes – 261


I find that my life is a recurring series of feeling like things are smooth and that I am doing what matters most to me and feeling like I am completely off the rails. I alternate between the two and I can’t even tell when I am about to fall off.

The last few weeks have been very chaotic and I am way off my routine and not eating well, not moving enough, not sleeping enough. Not getting enough done.

And I’m a bit sick of it.

Here’s to hoping I can go back on the other cycle soon!

Yes to giving myself grace and yes to getting back on track!

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 260

Year of Yes – 260


This past week was a full week for us so today I am grateful for the weekend and for hopefully getting a bit of downtime.

This coming week is the first week since school started that we will have no transitions or birthdays. I am hoping that can mean we can slowly start establishing a new routine.

Step by step.

Yes to adjusting as we go.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 259

Year of Yes – 259


Too tired for anything pithy today. Lately I am making a list of things to let go and release so I can make room for things I want to invite into my life or things I want to lean into more.

Yes to making space.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 258

Year of Yes – 258


I’ve been tired and unmotivated lately. I find myself easily distracted and unable to focus for a long time. Apparently this is normal during a pandemic. (Is there even such a thing as normal during a pandemic??)

I have been trying to figure out how to get back on track to the way my routine and life and productivity was before. Not even sure what the before is in this context. It could mean before this week. Or before March 2020. Or before school started. Or before this busy work season. Likely a combination of all.

What I am trying to remind myself is that there’s no going ‘back’ I can only go ‘forward’ so I get to choose what I want my routine to look like from here onward. And instead of retrofitting what was there before, I get to design a new one that fits into my life right now. I get to choose intentionally.

This way it’s not a reaction to what was there before and a constant comparison. Instead it’s an intentional design to work well with my current life.

As life shifts and evolves, as my moods change, as my schedule changes, I get to lean into it and shift with it. Life is so much easier when I flow in the direction of the current instead of swimming upstream.

Yes to being where I am and working with that.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 257

Year of Yes – 257

America is my chosen county. I wasn’t born here and I worked very hard to move here, make a life for myself, and to become a citizen.

It’s not a privilege I take for granted.

Almost 18 years ago, we left New York City to start the next phase of our lives and to start a family We chose to live in California. We were intentional. California is now the place I’ve lived the longest in. It’s my home.

I love living in California.

I’ve been to the southern tip, right by Mexico and I drove through the northern tip with all the magnificent Sequoia trees along the way. It’s an incredible state, full of incredible people and incredible nature.

Part of being a citizen of here, for me, is voting. Having my voice heard for how I want things to work in my home state. I am very grateful to get to vote. And to get to have my vote count.

Yes to voting.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 256

Year of Yes – 256


Today we had the last of the whirlwind September days. It was my day to celebrate with my hubby while the kids were at school.

We voted and then drove to the city to go to the ferry building where I love drinking coffee and watching the water and the birds. Then we went to a cafe I love in Cole Valley.

It was very ordinary and yet magical to get to take a day off work and give that time to each other again. Between work and kids, it’s not often we can easily find uninterrupted time for just the two of us.

My husband and I have been together for 27 years. I love him so much and I’m very grateful that we still find each other interesting.

Yes to spending time together.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes – 255

Year of Yes – 255

Hello 47.

Today is my birthday. I am so grateful for another year around the sun. Each year I get is bonus and filled with so much joy and so many stories.

I had a very hard time thinking about any presents or special things to do today. The fact is, I have all I need and I am so content and grateful for my life right now. I have a few really good friends, a beautiful family I adore, a home I love, a job that is filled with interesting, kind and smart people.

I have hobbies I enjoy like reading, journaling, and many different kinds of art. I am active and spend time both on the bike and climbing in the gym. I spend a lot of time reflecting on my life and appreciating it.

Sure, there are things I would like to learn and do and be. There are times I feel worried and sad and anxious. There are days I feel tried and bored and frustrated with parts of my life.

But, on the whole, as someone who had big dreams for her life, I see that so much of what I wished for is here in my life and I don’t want to take that for granted. Not for a moment.

As I’ve been practicing saying daily lately, “thank you for everything; I have no complaints whatsoever.”

Thank you.

Yes to the privilege of getting older.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Daily Year of Yes

Year of Yes – 254

20 years ago, today, my husband and I were living in NYC. We were still just dating then. I was working on Wall Street but only three days a week, Wednesday through Friday. On Mondays, I volunteered at a nonprofit by working at their bookstore or thrift store and on Tuesdays I’d volunteer at the New York Society for the Deaf. My husband had just left his job at a different Wall Street firm and was thinking about what he wanted to do next.

So, on this Monday morning, we were both at home, with the TV turned to Good Morning America, as we both worked on our computers. Back then, I had the TV on all the time for background noise.

We saw the first plane hit the first tower and listened to the hosts trying to figure out if it was a mistake. Both of us were incredibly lucky and managed to connect with our parents to let them know we were home and safe. Minutes later, the second plane hit and all the lines went dead.

The hours that followed were ones I will never forget. The smoke I could see from my window, the friend who had run out of the building just before it collapsed and had to take shelter in our home because he couldn’t return to Brooklyn, the people my husband had worked with who were in the buildings and never even had a chance, the restaurant we’d had our most recent holiday party at, now gone.

The days that followed felt surreal, so many threats and nonstop CNN to wrap our heads around the devastation. I still remember those days so acutely.

Twenty years have passed in the blink of an eye. I mourn the losses from that terrible day and all the losses accrued as a result in the last twenty years. I know that being alive here and now was a lot of luck on both of our parts and I am so grateful for it.

Yes to remembering.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes