I am a glass-half-empty kind of gal. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the glass as half full, but I always seem to fail. And once I see the half-empty glass I quickly find the fingerprints on the side and the lipstick left at the rim. But I married well. The amazing man I am blessed to call my husband works everyday to remind me of the yumminess that glass holds while he rubs it with his magic bar towel to remove the spots. We are quite an interesting balance. I am part idea person and part work horse; he is part work horse and part housecleaner. He adds the Dawn to our greasy pot.
Returning to cruising life has challenged us. We spent (only!) 10 days in the boatyard, living in some seriously nasty conditions. (Please note that our Trinidad boatyard, Power Boats, is nothing but outstanding as far as boatyards go. It’s just that boatyards can only go so far…) For the past three weeks we’ve been floating on gorgeous Caribbean waters and trying to let this life unfold as it will. If you have read our previous post then you know just how much fun we have been having in Grenada.
Clint and I strongly believe that the fun we have had and the ease with which we are moving this time around has come as a result of a new emphasis in our living. We have decided to say yes any and every time we can, and sometimes when we (think we) can’t. This is not a natural tendency, for me especially, but sometimes for Clint as well. It is a life approach we have been dabbling in for a few years and we now are letting it flood our existence and dominate our path.
The power of yes is real. So many people talk about it that it seems to be old news. You would have to be living under a rock to have missed the myriad books, talk shows, blogposts, and TED Talks that explain how saying yes more often helps to open doors and make your way smoother. Apparently just putting the word in your book title makes it an automatic #1 Best Seller. I am unable to characterize the power of yes for you any better than to show you some of the places it has taken us. Clint and I feel its pull. The life we have created is full of opportunity and each time we reach out to take on something new we feel it pick us up and move us forward. Life carries onward and requires only the effort of hanging on and keeping your eyes open. But you have to say yes.
Sometimes the power of yes shows itself in the overwhelming love that engulfs you when your child smiles at you like this.
Other times, the power of letting currents flow as they will and not trying to intercede can lead to exhilarating sails like this one with our friends Britican. No matter how it presents itself, the power of yes is undeniable. We have become big believers.
The beauty of yes lies in its simplicity. Yes is one of the most simple words in nearly every language. Written, it is typically only a few letters long. It can be spoken with perfect enunciation, implied through a grunt, or understood with just the nod of a head. Yes is one of the first words taught when one learns a new language. There is a conservation of resources in the word yes, but by simply using the word you release the huge energy stored in those three little letters. By allowing instead of hindering, things blossom. Life becomes beautiful.
The peace of yes is nearly immediate. When an option comes available, saying no requires extra energy. There is the planning of if not this, then what? Declining one thing means another must be found. For us, saying yes has meant our children have friends and we have normalization of our crazy life. These are integral parts of creating a life afloat.
Knowing that your world is taken care of, that the insanity of your choices really isn’t all that bad, creates a peace in the heart of any sailor-parent. Accepting sundowner invites (that’s pirate for drinks on someone’s boat at sunset) is akin to having the neighbors over for dinner. It’s going to be tight (we do live on boats, after all!) but you might just find a friendship, or, in our world, a buddy boat, and there is peace in knowing someone out there has your back. Our time in Grenada has been full of yeses and now we find ourselves and our children more peaceful. (Now if only the seas would get the message!)
When it comes right down to it, taking on a yes approach to life is not easy. In the past, saying no always felt like control of my world. It felt safe. My glass was half empty but I was ok with that. Now I am seeing the rest of my glass, and it’s full of pineapple juice and rum, or maybe Lemon Lime and Bitters, or maybe just half-melted ice; and it’s covered with the fingerprints of our friends and the grime of our latest adventures. My glass is half-full of life and I hope to continue filling it with yes!