The 52 Lists (for Happiness) Project #45



List the things, people, and experiences you want to say yes to:

This page also asks, “Do you ever hold yourself back from an experience that could bring you happiness?” Yes! The answer is yes, wholeheartedly YES! I do it all the time. I miss out, I think, on a lot of opportunities, on many wonderful  things. Sometimes out of a sense of duty, sometimes shyness, and sometimes fear.

There have been rare but extraordinary exceptions. As a young adult with two baby girls, I started college. Over the next fifteen years, while raising my daughters, moving around the state of Michigan, holding several jobs and struggling with (and finally ending) a bad marriage, I earned an Associate’s Degree, then a B.F.A., then a Master of Fine Arts Degree.

Against the best advice of family and friends, I moved, with my small family, to Beaver Island. One winter, I took a trip, alone, to Grand Turk Island, to work on an archaeological dig. On a cold October day not that many years ago, I set sail from Paradise Bay on Beaver Island to travel to Port Huron as part of a three-person crew on a 29 foot sailboat. Five days and four nights on the water. In October. I took a ride in a bi-plane. I climbed onto the back of a camel. Last August, right in the thick of our busy season, I took ten days off work in order to go to Chicago with my daughter and her family.

Mostly, though, I let things pass me by. Maybe I’m afraid of disappointment, or fearful of seeming foolish. I’m often stopped by a sense of being indispensable in my job, or by the notion that I can’t afford time off. Fear of failure. Fear of something new. Fear of something out of my control. Fear. Knowing all of this, and considering that at this stage in my life,  there may be fewer opportunities to take advantage of, what are the things, people, and experiences I want to say yes to?

  • EVERY SINGLE ONE! Every chance at adventure, each new learning experience, time with every new or old friend, any opportunity for fun…that’s what I want to say “yes”  to!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

2 responses »

  1. This is a really thoughtful vulnerable post, Cindy. Ahhh, that fear of failure and how it can stop us in our tracks. And all those other fears, too. It would be nice if we could just switch off that fear switch. Some of my spiritual teachers seem to advise doing the opposite. Learn to stay present in the fear for two seconds or five minutes or twenty minutes. To learn to exercise staying with the fear. And become less frightened of it. So that someday perhaps we’ll be so able to stay conscious in our fear that we’ll not be cowed by it anymore. xoxoxo

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