Last week, my daughter and I sang “Hey Jude” with none other than Sir Paul McCartney. Seriously. The guy from the Beatles. THAT Paul McCartney. It was surreal. Now, I’m leaving out the part where 20,000 other people were singing along too, but the point is that in that moment, I got to do something so amazing and so unique that I will undoubtedly remember it forever. I can still hear the echo of that “nah, nah, nah, na-na-na-nahhhh, na-na-na,nahhhhh..hey Jude.”
I’m a huge fan of saying “yes” to experiences. The “what the heck, why not” attitude almost never lets me down.
Yesterday, when visiting with one of our new clients, Ziegenfelder, home of the Budget Saver Twin Pops, Brandi Richards and I were asked if we wanted to see the roof of the plant. Why not? It was 4 p.m., we were curious, so we followed and jumped and climbed our way to the top of the building. We took in the view of Wheeling, and Southeastern Ohio, as literally millions of popsicles were being made right underneath us, the smell of sugary goodness wafting out of the vents. It was awesome. Had we said no, we would have missed out on one spectacular view and the ability to boast to our co-workers about our experience. It’s not every day you get to do things like that…oh, and we also got a free popsicle or in Brandi’s case, three free popsicles.
It’s no secret that I crave exploration. I’ve written about my attitude towards taking risks and opening your mind to new adventures before. I’ve embraced the notion that in this very, very, short existence it would be a travesty to simply let experiences and opportunity pass you by. That’s why I’ve jumped out of planes. That’s why I’ve rappelled down buildings. That’s why I rarely turn down the chance to attend any live shows, even if I don’t’ know the band. That’s why, even though I’m working on being healthy, I’ll try a cinnamon bun donut with maple topping and bacon crumbles when Rob Vandine brings them to work (gross, by the way). That’s why I auditioned for plays and why I went back to school long after my “going to school” days should have been over.
To me, experiences are valuable. Many times, the experience is worth far more than things and often makes you happier. I see people who place so much importance on the things they have in their life…their car, their house, their handbag, their shoes. But what’s the point if you never drive that car someplace great or wear those shoes out dancing?
Those closest to me know that I have a list that I keep of things that I want to do. Do. DO is the key word. Things. I. Want. To. Do. The list is pretty long. I think I did that intentionally so I will always have something to daydream about. I, like thousands of others, have created a board on Pinterest to remind me of the things I’ve done (my Been There, Done That Board) and the things I’ve yet to do (my Places I want to See, Things I want to Do Board).
I’m proud that my kids seem to have the same sense of adventure. Carleigh is saving money for a trip to France in the spring, Sydney was the real reason behind the trip to see Paul McCartney (and she’s oh, so sad that she never got to see the Eagles), and Quinn brought home a list the last day of school that indicated things he wanted to do over the summer. See a professional soccer game. Guess what? D.C. United tied Philadelphia Aug. 5 in a nail biter in the last three minutes and we were there to see it.
They are learning, too, the value of adventure and the merit of experience and for that I am proud. So, we continue to seek out new things and yearn for the opportunity to say yes. Tomorrow is never promised, so we play it safe, and say yes to today. You will thank yourself when you look back and see and feel all of the wonderful memories you’ve created. Memories that won’t go out of style. Memories that will still fit 10 years later. Memories shared with those you care most about and memories even created alongside 20,000 other Paul McCartney fans. Those are the things you carry with you and are the treasures of a lifetime.
If you are interested in pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and seek ways to embrace new experiences, Shonda Rimes, creator of great television like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, recently wrote a book entitled, “A Year of Yes” where she documents how she embraced a years worth of opportunities that she normally would have turned down. She learned to “say yes to her health, yes to play, and she stepped out of the shadows and into the sun; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud and love her truest self.” Now that’s a book I can say “yes” to. Or, check out this great article written by Jay Cassano, where he explains that even science says that you should spend your time (and money) on experiences that make you happy. In the text, it very eloquently states that shared experiences are worth more than shared consumption. So, to put it simply…that vacation you invite me on will create more happiness than buying that big screen TV which is all the more proof that the best things in life, well, they aren’t things at all.
As always, comments on this blog can be directed to me at email@example.com or on social media. Do me a favor? Say yes to something you would have turned down today…you won’t regret it.