1. I hope you say ‘yes’ to celebrating your success. When someone congratulates you on a new achievement – whatever that is – I hope you own it. I hope you say “yes,” it is impressive that I got this new job. “Yes,” it is fantastic that I was able to save money for my new home. “Yes,” celebrating five, ten, twenty, thirty years of marriage is beautiful. I hope you know that it’s ok to say ‘yes’ when someone is recognizing things about you that are worth celebrating.
2. I hope you say ‘yes’ to letting go. Let go of the things that try to drown you. Let go of the people who wish to clip your wings. Let go of the things that do not fuel your spirit – and recognize that there is a difference between hard things and things that are not good for you. Life is not always easy – but there is a difference between standing in a storm and letting the waters swallow you whole.
3. I hope you say ‘yes’ to learning. I hope you never think that you have nothing left to learn, or that there are people who have nothing left to teach you. There is always a lesson to learn – even if it’s what not to do.
4. I hope you say ‘yes’ to stepping outside of your comfort zone. Travel to unfamiliar places. Try foods that you cannot pronounce. Engage in activities that you wouldn’t’ usually do – who cares if you only do it once? At least you can say that you tried. I hope you never get to the end of your days and wish that you had tried. Stand in the space outside of your comfort zone and watch how you will thrive.
5. I hope you say ‘yes’ to setting boundaries. Sometimes it can feel uncomfortable or challenging to set boundaries. It can seem as if you’re mean, or that you’re shutting people down, or that you don’t want to show up for the ones that you love. But setting boundaries is one of how you can protect your own heart, your own space, and your own peace. And when you do that, the relationships and friendships that you have will thrive.
6. I hope you say ‘yes’ to embracing joy when it presents itself to you. I hope you celebrate the more significant moments of life with unabashed glee. Still, I also hope you do the same thing for the tiny moments that present themselves to you throughout your day – like drinking the perfect cup of coffee, or a hot shower in silence, or the comfort that comes with sitting on your couch with your beloved at the end of the day.
7. I hope you say ‘yes’ to laugher – even when things feel bleak. Laughter is a gift in this life – and it’s ok to find the moments that bring a giggle. It’s ok to lean into the belly laughs when they come, too. The best dramas will have moments of comedy, and within the most serious of times, there are still moments of happiness, too.
8. I hope you say ‘yes’ to love. If laughter is a gift in this life, love is a treasure. Love is something to protect and embrace with every fiber of your being. Love is something to be celebrated – and I hope you never hesitate to tell the ones you love how much you love them. I hope you always share your love for the things that you love. Love is something you deserve, too. It’s not just for other people, and it’s not something that only exists in movies and literature – love is real. Love is true. Love is out there for you, too.