November 19 2015

Book Review: Year of Yes

There’s a new book out by Shonda Rhimes, otherwise known as executive producer and creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. It’s called Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Though you’d be hard pressed to guess it, Shonda is a classic introvert. Two years ago, on Thanksgiving in 2013, Shonda’s sister called her out by saying, “You never say yes to anything.” It was at that moment that Shonda would embrace an epic challenge: for one year, she would say yes to everything that scared her.

The book is a fun read, especially for introverts like myself who would rather snuggle up in bed with a good book than attend a party. (As I was reading the book, I felt like, the whole time, I was cheering her on.) Despite having three hit shows and three kids, Shonda found the time to say yes to attending social events, giving a commencement speech and appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The chapter I enjoyed the most is called Yes to All Play and No Work, which talks about how Shonda still found time for her kids, despite it all.

I am not a naturally optimistic person. I’m too in my own head to be a constant source of cheer. I have to work at happy. Dark and twisty is where my brain likes to settle. So I can use some reminders of what is good and optimistic and glass-half-full about this world. And nothing does that for me like the faces and souls of my tiny humans.

Beautiful quote about how playing with her kids makes her so happy.

So, what are you going to say yes to this year? Could you say “yes” to your kids more when they ask you if you want to play? Are you missing out on opportunities to really live a fulfilling life because you’re just too shy? I’m going to start saying yes more to things that scare me. If this is my last post, come look for me. I may have just jumped off a cliff!


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