Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The latest Jim Carrey movie is called 'Yes Man'.  Carrey's character goes to a motivational speaker that challenges him to say 'yes' to everything - hilarity ensues....  The movie leaves much to be desired, but I was caught by the idea and wondered how often I said 'yes' rather than 'no'.  Life isn't really that binary.  But the idea of saying 'yes' suggests that we are moving forward, being intentional. 

I know what I want from life, and I know how I want to live - but do I? I want to be in great shape, be well read, engage with interesting friends, do meaningful work, be creative,  be generous,  be environmentally aware, care for my soul, and love my family.  I am sure if I worked a bit at that list it would grow much longer.  These aren't things that I think I should do, these are things I really want to do.  I realize how often I fall short in achieving even the desires that are on the top of my mind.  I waste time.  I get caught by the things that distract from what is important.  I don't think I am good enough.  I have lots of excuses.  

This blog itself is a conscious choice I have made - get up and write.  I have wanted to write for so long, but always found reasons not to - whether not enough time, or not enough talent - I would talk myself out of it.  It seems the reasons not to do something often win over my desire to do something.  

I also have that very odd experience of when I am in the midst of doing what I really want, when I am being intentional about life, I can't imagine life being any other way.  Yet, if, for whatever reason - being sick, travel, etc. - I am knocked off my course - getting back on becomes incredibly difficult and feels often like a complete restart.

I have had lots of conversations with my kids about why they didn't do something, or couldn't do something.  They would list the reasons and excuses - which often included things which they felt were beyond their control.  I would tell them 'you have two choices, you can either make life happen, or life will happen to you'.  

I have to do a better job of taking my own advice.



  1. Loved this movie.

    I find that often that my tendency is to say no - I have my guard up and don't want to be taken advantage of.

    Last year I decided to start saying yes. Not as a response to each and every request a la Jim Carrey. But as a general orientation to life. I found that saying yes has opened me up to jumping into new relationships, and has taken me outside my comfort zone.

    A much broader place than where no took me.

  2. Do you really think you can make life happen? I think you can make some of the smaller, less important parts happen. But it has been my experience that life does in fact, just happen and our option is to resist or embrace what happens.

    I have more to say about this but it is your blog. Perhaps I will go 'happen' on my own... Loving the writing though Rory. You've got some good words you're working with.

  3. Good point ACJ, I guess what I am getting at is to avoid allowing oneself to become a victim of their circumstance - to feel I have no say, or control as to how my life progresses. Even my choice to embrace or resist - is an active rather than passive choice.

  4. I find that who we want to be and how we want to be is rarely who or how we naturally tend to be.

    I went to a memorial service for a thirty-year-old girl this past weekend who everyone lauded as being a loving, warm girl with a sunny disposition. Her husband stood up at the beginning and gave a beautiful soliloquy about her beautiful personality and how she made him a better person. Then guest after guest, friend, family member stood up to add story upon story about her warmth and goodness. Finally, at the end, her husband stood up again and said that even so, she still had issues and each day she had to make a choice to be the person she was.

    Choice. It's a daily choice.

    P.S. I love that you're writing!