• Sarah Joy Cook

My Word for 2020: Yes!

Five years ago I decided to set aside any hopes of making a new year’s resolution, much less trying to keep one. Instead, I decided to choose a word for the year and to incorporate it whenever possible. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Joy. Play. Generosity. And now, Yes. Okay, I guess if I’m being literal this marks the 6th year.

Yes is my reminder that I want to lean in. It’s an intention to resist the urge to say no to an invitation when I’m tired. It’s a call to listen when a small voice urges me to help a stranger but I’m afraid (of what, who knows). In essence, it’s a prompt to live as fully as I can.

During the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve, our burning bowl ceremony, and an evening of intention setting, I tried on several words, but nothing really resonated. On the evening of the 31st, I heard yes, and it just felt right so it’s what I chose. It was several days later that I realized the impact of saying yes. In order to say yes, I also have to say no.

  • Yes to moving to Greenville, to adventure, to waterfalls, to new life with Colin. No to weekly face-to-face time with my boss. No to a last minute get together with girlfriends. No to a Saturday lunch with my sister. No to Unity of Nashville.

  • Yes to moving on 2/1. No to a January trip to Michigan with family.

  • Yes to buying a fully furnished condo. Yes to an easier move. No to much of my existing, beautiful furniture.

  • Yes to my nephew’s birthday party. No to the time to say goodbye to my favorite Saturday morning instructor at the Y.

Six weeks in and I’m observing that “Yes” isn’t to be taken lightly. There are tradeoffs. My yes matters, but so does my no. I need to recognize the impact of my yes. Who or what does that mean I say no to? It doesn’t change my desire to lean in, but hopefully I can be more sensitive to the resulting missed opportunities.

Totally switching gears now…a quick update…

We had help from over a dozen friends on move day, 2/1. They showed up early and had us loaded in <3 hours. We could not have done it without them, but it somehow made saying farewell that much harder. Our apartment now sits empty, waiting for us to return in 2 weeks to clean and turn over the keys. No rush; we were required to pay rent through the term of the lease in April. Rent plus utilities! I know they’re running a business, that they have to protect their income, but seriously! I am so glad we own our own place again.

We pulled into Greenville late that Saturday night and carried in a couple of house plants. Other than that, we were completely wiped out and literally fell into bed. Sunday morning, our realtor (and now friend) and his son showed up to help unload. We lured the teen with cash and pizza, but our friend Chris is just another example of someone who wanted to help. So fortunate to have such good people in our lives!

So now it’s been 2 weeks. The condo is still in a bit of chaos but we make progress everyday. We both took time off from other responsibilities this past week to get some rest and to “make home.” We haven’t done the best job at resting but we have been making home. We spent most of the day Thursday at Ikea. Then yesterday we spent the day building a beautiful Ikea closet. It’s about 75% done. Thought I’d share pictures but have you ever tried to capture a photo of a closet? Just doesn’t work!

The closet project convinces me that I still have far too many clothes and shoes. I want to live more simply. All the extra stuff weighs me down. When I am trying to decide what to wear, I am overwhelmed by the 200+ options. Plus, I have stuff that just sits in a closet for months on end. That stuff could be getting used daily or weekly. If in a year I discover that I really needed that long winter coat, I trust that the perfect coat will show up for me. That’s the way the universe works. I release it now when I don’t need it, and when I do need it, a solution will come. We’ve already made multiple runs to donate furniture, appliances, linens, electronics, clothing and more to a local non-profit, Safe Harbor. I envision many more.

I have so much more to say, but it’ll have to wait til next month. For now, I will go pick through the mountain of clothes, choose from my 200 outfits and get ready. I will muster up the courage to walk into a new church. One of the many adventures that comes up when you move six hours away.

Speaking of courage, probably the scariest thing I’ve done thus far was going to a new hair salon/stylist. It worked out fine, better than fine actually, but @LizKleparek, you’re irreplaceable!


Sarah Joy

#ProjectRestoreJoy #ChooseJoy #SayYes #WordForTheYear #MakeNewFriendsButKeepTheOld #YeahThatGreenville #Palmetto

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