The Power of YES

I love anticipating the smell of the Thanksgiving turkey roasting all day at home, and the lingering scent it leaves behind for a few days until my 14′ douglas fir arrives.  (Even though I’m allergic to the tree, the beauty of its’ fullness and soft evergreen needles keeps me coming back.  My husband and grandson say no more 200 lb. trees are coming in the house; we’ll see….) 

This year, my side of the family gathered at Bricker’s Pizza in Hershey for Thanksgiving; my nephew, Robbie, has worked there part-time since his college days.  Since his girlfriend’s family and our whole family convened to celebrate the holiday, we needed someplace to meet that could accommodate all of us.  Even though he’s now finished graduate school and works as a civil engineer, he still loves filling in at the pizza shop when they need help.  His gal, Lauren, is a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; they’ve been dating since January, thanks to his aunt Jenny (who set them up on a blind date then). 

We have a family tradition, initiated by my sister Mary, of going around the table between the meal and dessert and sharing what we’re thankful for over the past year.  The Montagues participated with us this year; order was determined by Mary’s pull of their name from a canister.  Somehow, Robbie managed to be last in sharing his thoughts.  He thanked both families for agreeing to share Thanksgiving in Hershey, talked about how his life has changed since January, and then got down on one knee, pulling the ring box from his pocket, and asked Lauren to marry him.  While Lauren briefly stared at my mother’s diamond (which Robbie added some sapphires to, because she loves them), Robbie sweated each second out.  She finally whispered yes, and he gently placed the ring on her finger before hugging her sweetly…as the families clapped.  They shared tears of happiness and held each other, taking joy in the word, “yes!”

That precious moment made me think of how much I love to empower people to say, “yes!”…and how I want to do more of that in the coming year.

 It’s been a tough year for my husband health-wise.  But thanks to good doctors, while we’re faced with cancer a fifth time, the doctor is saying “Yes, we can take care of that.”  He developed a hernia after having his other cancerous kidney removed in September, and the doctor said, “Yes, we can take care of that.”  When contemplating how to make our entrepreneurial program at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) be more responsive to our students and ahead of our competitors, we said, “Yes, we can do that!”  I’m very excited about the additions to the major that should be instituted in the fall. 

When a client asked me to modify my role from just the administrator of a conference to providing training for session on social media, I hedged.  Why did I hesitate?  I know I can do that.  Changing a pattern of 10 years proved mentally challenging for me, even though I knew my skill and knowledge level was more than needed for this new task.  We’ve had other leaders provide this training in the past, but they talked in broad strokes, while our audience needs a basic foundation instead.  So, I’ve been telling myself, “Yes, I KNOW I can do that!”  My client (who is also a dear friend) has had to talk me into it.  So, “Yes, Diane: I CAN do that!”

 While I’m still working through what my goals will be to enable myself, and others to say, “Yes!” in 2011, I challenge YOU to make concrete plans to empower yourself, and others, in the days ahead with a resounding “YES!”

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