You Say YES

dogs, golden retrieversThe weather is frightful outside. You have just arrived home from a hard day at work, your feet are freezing, and your brain is fried. You collapse on the big cozy chair in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot tea and pick up a good book. Your dog sits on your feet, puts his head on your knee, and asks with warm, pleading brown eyes, “Please, please, please take me out for a walk.”

You say YES.

You are divorced and have vowed that you will raise your two young children on your own, with no help from awedding kiss man, thank you very much. In fact, you have no intention of dating for quite a while. Your best friend introduces you to a tall, attractive, persistent man (he involves you in hours-long, long-distance phone conversations and acts as if you are extremely fascinating and intelligent). Ten months later, he asks you to marry him…

You say YES.

See's CandyYour friend/boss wants you to work extra time, even though you won’t get paid for the additional hours. But, she’ll be forever grateful AND she’ll bring you a box of See’s chocolates.

You say YES.baptism, children

Your family wants you to be part of a church ritual that you neither believe in nor understand. You’re even told you have to “dress up” for the occasion. You so so so want to have a fit and refuse, but your cousin begs you to join in.

You say YES.

facial, mothers and daughtersYour adult child isn’t great with saving money. Neither are you, but you have a small stash saved up to treat yourself to a “spa day” – manicure/pedicure and a facial. The day before your appointment, your daughter calls, upset because she’s in debt and can’t pay a bill before the next pay check. She asks if she can borrow $150 – your spa money.

You say YES.

dinner, chicken and riceYour guy loves chicken and rice, a casserole you really don’t like. You rarely make it, but he’s having a hard week at work. You call and ask him, what would you like for dinner? He says without hesitation “chicken and rice.”

You say YES.

Your friend is overly generous, which embarrasses you, because you can’t afford to treat her in kind. She explains that she has a difficult time Red Sox, go Soxreceiving gifts, but it gives her immense pleasure to treat those who are special to her. She asks you if you’ll accept tickets to an important game.

You say YES.




What do you say yes to?


64 thoughts on “You Say YES

  1. Yes, yes, yes. And a few times No. I am usually very helpful and give in even on things I don’t want to do. Though there are times I put my foot down. I say NO when I realize I already have too much on my plate or I just need ME time. In ten years I have only said NO twice to babysitting requests, though.

  2. Pingback: You Say YESThis is a beautiful post. Check it out–it’ll only take a minute! « Reade and Write

  3. It makes me feel good to say yes! People hear so many nos that I’m happy to see a smile of relief on their faces when I say yes without hesitation! This only applies to family and friends – not telemarketers!

  4. Thoughtful post and “yes” we say that word a lot. At least I do. Yes to help my daughter out since she’s been ill with a variant of RA. Just have to when it’s your child. I then have to get really thrifty and not spend any money for my pleasure and cut back on vet visits for my animals.

  5. My husband comes home from work at the farm and asks me to go pick beans with him on our farm. It is the end of a long day and all I really want to do is kick back and read a book. He says that is can be like our night out, our date and I realize that part of the request is about the immediacy of vegetables that need to be picked and the other part if that he wants my companionship out there… I say YES.

  6. A post that will certainly encourage discussion. Saying yes many times is from the heart — you’re doing something kind for someone else. Sometimes you have to yes just for yourself. But, it does feel good to say yes to someone you care about. I say yes many times because it means so much to my husband. And, it usually involves moments I’ll remember.

    • So interesting to me, that this “Yes” post has so readers thinking out loud, as you guessed. YES is a beautiful word, even when it stresses us out and makes us sacrifice. I guess that’s why your ‘yeses’ involve memorable moments.

  7. I will be completely honest because that’s what I do – or try too at least 🙂 I say yes to the things that are important to me and lead me in the direction dictated by my internal compass. A lot of the time, those yeses are because I value a relationship over what I may personally want for myself at a given time. And sometimes, it’s allowing myself to indulge in something that I know will energize, rejuvenate, and inspire me.

    • Oops, wasn’t finished 🙂 But, sometimes yes can be dangerous, blindly agreeing to every request that may come your way, either from others or yourself. And sometimes, I believe that “no” has as much power as “yes”, when it is used in the right places. And, for me at least, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to say no to those things that would be easy to say yes to, but also lead you farther away from the person you want to become. Is there a clear cut answer to when you use one or the other? Yes, and no 😉

      • As always, I appreciate your completely honest responses to my blog posts. You bring up a great point – are some of our ‘yeses’ actually self-focused and in response to our own needs? As you suggest, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. I like the use of my internal compass also. If a potential “yes” from me leads to a heavy ache in my stomach (or my heart), I know I should then say, “NO.”

  8. It is easy for me to say yes to my child, my dogs and my hubby. I used to say yes a lot more than I do now. I have learned to set boundaries. It was an important lesson for me. I have a plate. It’s MY plate. I decide what goes on it and if it gets too full, I decide what to take off. I do not allow others (child, dogs and husband excluded of course) to put anything on there without my approval. I guard my plate carefully now. Because when I get too many things going in my life, everything suffers and I cannot give my best to anything. Loved your post!! 🙂

  9. Oh wow, this is a fantastic message, Pam! It’s such a great reminder of the things we do for love and that in order for there to be more giving in the world, there have to be more receivers too. It behooves us to be good at both!

    It’s also good remember that the well-calculated NO is also important when it feels the request is manipulative or inauthentic. Saying YES to too much means we may run out of steam for the next important request.

    • Thank you for your enthusiastic re-blogging, Elizabeth. I think you’re right, saying YES can be a total act of love. Being the receiver of a YES may be more difficult, but definitely another act of love.
      Saying NO can be an act of self-love – and that’s really good too. 🙂

  10. one of the easiest and happiest things to say Yes to is you, Pam, followed by a resounding, Thank You….. that’s how I feel as once again I grab hold of Dag Hammarskjold’s all-embracing line, “For all that has been, thank you; for all that is yet to be, Yes.”

  11. I have been challenged in life not to say yes to absolutely everything. I still am a helper at heart, a listener, an encourager and I definitely say yes to adventure. I have also learned to say yes to peace and quiet, that self care is also an important yes.

  12. What a wonderfully positive post. My husband´s friend´s wife is unable to go on a weekend motorcycle trip because the sitter for their 8 year old cancelled at the last minute. Hubby asks if I can watch her for the weekend. I say Yes. It will be good to be around a young person and I miss my own grandchildren. We will have fun.

  13. Loved reading this Pam. I know that you only say “yes” to the truly important people in your life. I believe that saying “NO” to someone you love is extremely difficult in your life right now. Think of all the times you said Yes to this person. I know that I have had to say NO many times to my person…You understand I’m sure!!!

  14. I say YES far too often, Pam – I can’t ever remember being a NO person. mother-in-law needs the floor vacuumed (yes), hubby wants oxtail stew for dinner (yes), a friend needs to chat about her wayward son (yes), my niece needs a ride to the park (yes), the dogs want an hour walk to the mountains (yes). Am I tired? yes 😀

  15. I say yes to practically everything, unfortunately. My husband gave me a tee shirt that says “Just say no!” I am also one of those people who enjoys giving presents (and searching for just the right one) than getting them. I think its age – it wasn’t that way when I was young!

    • Ohhh, I wish I were on your gift list. That’s a skill, you know, finding just the right gift for just the right person. That’s the skill of a caring person. You’re a YESwoman, and many people I’m sure are thankful for that.

  16. I don’t really think about how often I say yes. I know I am the bank of mom for my daughter, but I’m not suffering for it and she’s having a difficult time of late. I hope I say yes a lot, I have no trouble saying no to things that I don’t want to do or that don’t mesh with my values. Good post! ❤
    Diana xo

  17. You are a kind person Pam. I think we all know people though who go beyond kindness and become pushovers. They relegate their own lives to please family, friends, anyone in momentary need. Then when they themselves need a little support this counts for little.

  18. love that- saying yes to life and all the abundance it can bring. I esp. loved the saying yes to receiving from a friend – which can be its own generous act, I’ve been learning. Thank you for the inspiration, Pam.

  19. Another beautiful, inspirational post. I just say Yes this weekend when my first thought was to say no. Friends inviting me over as my guy is out of town and and my dog recently passed so they knew I was alone. I thought I wouldn’t want to be around so many people but in the end it felt so good (and equally good to return to my quiet home which didn’t feel so empty afterwards).

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