I’m one of those strange hybrid creatures you read about in Buzzfeed articles: the introverted extrovert, or extroverted introvert, or whatever label we’re using these days for someone who likes to be social but tends to become totally exhausted when my calendar isn’t empty. I can also get extremely socially anxious—every so often, I feel like I’m floating outside my body and am sure that everyone can see what a phony I am as I make sure to laugh in the right places and stand in a way that I don’t look as awkward as I feel. (Overshare!) But this weekend I got over all that when I made myself just say yes—to a full three days’ worth of unforgettable experiences.
Just say yes Friday
On a typical free afternoon, I might take the kids to the park or on a hike. But Friday I remembered a neighbor recently asked a local Facebook group if anyone had a water table they wanted to get rid of. No one offered—but we have a water table (that the girls love, so we won’t be giving it up anytime soon).
Instead of sticking to our usual routine, then, I stepped out of my comfort zone and invited my neighbor and her kids to play in our yard.
It was great: The kids jumped on the trampoline, climbed in the water table and explored the veggies that are just starting to grow in our garden. I caught up with my mom friend, whom I hadn’t seen in months, even though we live literally three blocks away.
Then that night, I ended up going to the inspirational/rejuvenating weekend event Bloom in a very random way. A new blogger friend, Kala from This Messy Season, said she had an extra ticket to Bloom and I took her up on going—even though we had never met in person and I’d have to—gasp!—drive downtown to go. (I often use traffic and distance as an excuse to stay at home because I really just want to eat popcorn and watch Orphan Black by myself.)
And I’m so glad I managed to just say yes because the night was a blast!
The highlight was seeing a live performance of I Mom So Hard, whose videos I watch whenever I’m having a really terrible mom day. (The Spanx episode tho!!!!) I swear laughing gave me a better workout than the 700-calorie scorchers I get with Orange Theory Fitness.
I also got to meet a few people I’m familiar with online and hung out with my friend Erika, the creative genius behind A Tiny Rocket and her make art everyday Instagram. Erika and I ate phenomenal poke bowls at Quick Fish (droooooooool) and got really excited about a new project we want to do together.
I drove home with the radio turned off because I was spent. But the weekend was just beginning!
Just say yes Saturday
On Saturday, a group of friends whom I met at new moms’ group went wine tasting in Dundee, Oregon. We had put it on the calendar several months ago (because that’s how you have to roll when organizing something for a bunch of moms with little kids!).
We drank a ton of wine, ate great food and enjoyed the perfect sunshine. The best part, though: We got to talk to each other—really talk, and really listen—with no kids or partners around.
Don’t get me wrong. I love play dates, and we get together a ton with our littles and baby daddies. But it’s hard to have a coherent conversation when your kid is tugging on your pants and demanding a frozen waffle.
So as we sipped pinot noir and chardonnay, we got real. We talked about feeling utterly spent at work and rejoiced over our kids’ milestones and questioned future plans.
We were open, vulnerable, empathetic. We were all the things true friends are in person because it’s hard to do all that over text and Facebook.
Although it was hard to leave my family for an entire day, spend lots of money on wine when the budget would have rapped my knuckles, and think about taking care of kids after day drinking, I’m so grateful I could just say yes to an unforgettable day with some of my closest mom friends.
Just say yes Sunday
After we got the girls in bed Saturday night, Eric and I had a chance to catch up. I said (several times) that I wish I didn’t have plans for Sunday. But I’d already committed and paid money, so I knew I’d have to go.
Sunday I went to a Portland Bloggers meet-up where Lydia Johnston of Photography Hill was taking head shots. I was unprepared—I didn’t know what I was going to wear, which was stressful, and I don’t know how to do makeup, which was stressful, and I don’t even own a hair dryer or curling iron much less know how to use one so had to rely on the cooperation of an I-washed-my-hair-three-days-ago ‘do. Yes, also stressful.
But I picked a tank top of a pretty color and called it good. I wore eyeliner and didn’t smudge it all over. And shockingly, my hair didn’t look like I’d basically just rolled out of bed, which was the actual truth. (Shh!)
I get uncomfortable in front of the camera (who doesn’t?!) but managed to just say yes anyway. I can’t help but compare my creative projects to the successes of other bloggers and creatives but I managed to just say yes anyway. I fear showing up to these kinds of events and having nothing to say but I managed to just say yes anyway.
Just say yes to silence
My weekend was full. It was packed with wonderful experiences, from meeting Kristin and Jen of I Mom so Hard and hilarious mom video extraordinaire Kristina Kuzmic to having a boozy picnic with besties.
It filled my bucket, but it depleted my energy, too. On Sunday night I was spent. I wisely disregarded my meal plan and made an easy veggie sandwich instead. I left the music, news and podcasts off. I left the windows open and listened to the frogs peeping outside, instead.
Just say yes is a wonderful motto to live by. But for introverted extroverts, it can also feel really good to say not right now.
So if you want to see me this week, know that I may turn you down. And I may take extra long to respond to your texts. After all, after this full weekend, I’m now busy absorbing all the yes.