I Realize That What I Miss is Actually Less Than What I Have

Way back in 2019 I made a list called Say Yes To In 2020. I keep it in my planner, which I use more as combo journal/diary/planner than truly as a planner. I’m a paper person. I use my phone as a calendar but I really LOVE a paper planner. I get a new one every year and then I like to look back over the last year and note what were the things that made me happy and what wasn’t working. Anyway, I was using the planner diligently until March 10th. I took it out yesterday and it is blank from March 10th to May 6th. NOTHING. For two months I haven’t written anything in that planner. To be honest, I had to look for it in my office as it was under a pile of papers. Then I flipped to the back to look at my Say Yes List and it I took my breath away.

My Say Yes To in 2020 List has 17 items listed. Some of them won’t make any sense to you but here it is: a walk, a book recommendation, travel, live music, time with family, hot yoga, a hike, group exercise, building a fire, choosing to be alone, anything with my 2020 people, razamataz, Elawa, Cedarville, a boat ride, candles, and neighbors. Of the 17 items, there are only 4 that I can’t do right now. Only 4! And on the list were time with family and choosing to be alone. WHAT? I’m spending lots of time with family and definitely choosing time to be alone — like right this second. The only things on my list that I absolutely can’t do right now are travel (and by that I mean for vacation not emergency), live music (and by that I mean in a crowed bar or stadium) a boat ride (and I’m gonna say that I couldn’t do that in IL right now anyway), and hot yoga. Technically I can ‘t do a hike right now because state parks are still closed and there is nothing around my house that even remotely qualifies as a hike since everything is flat here, but I really don’t hike this time of year anyway. I might have to say group exercise is a ½ can ½ can ‘t because group exercise via Zoom is definitely not the same thing, but it sure is good to hear the voices and see the faces of my Thursday Ladies. And Cedarville is technically not an option right now, but that is only ever an option between June-September so I’m not writing it off yet.

Despite the fact that we are suffering a world wide pandemic, I can still say yes to 11 of the 17 items on my say yes to list. It turns out that even during a pandemic, I still have control over most of the things that make me happy. I still have control to decide to say yes (or no) to most of the things I want to do. I will never have control over everything. Perhaps it is more important to identify the things you can control that make you happy. I made that list while sitting outside my by myself listening to music. Today I can go outside by myself. Today I can say yes to many things that do make me happy. Today I can choose to say yes or no to the things in my control. All that said, there are a lot of things that make me happy (and sad and mad and cranky) that I don’t have control over. During a sad moment the other day, a friend reminded me yesterday to focus on what I can control. Opening my planner back up after two months of not even knowing where it was, the list of things that make me happy that I can control was right there where I left it two months ago.

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