Yes Man? No, Man.



One of my least favourite actors is Jim Carrey. It’s a bit of an irrational dislike, as such dislikes often are, but the odd thing here is that I think he has made some remarkably good thought-provoking films under that veneer of goofy idiocy. One example is Yes Man, a story about a man who commits himself to saying ‘yes’ to everything for a year. I loved this film, because I thought the underlying concept was brilliant. We all miss out on some pretty amazing experiences in life through not saying yes enough, through not being spontaneous enough, and after seeing the film I have to admit to trying to say yes to stuff a bit more often, particularly to the types of things I would normally run a mile from.

Of course, it backfires from time to time. Saying yes to ten pin bowling hasn’t really enhanced my life (hate the sweaty hire shoes) and shopping expeditions for men’s clothes don’t get any more interesting over the years. Conversely, I enjoyed my visit to the health farm place a couple of months ago, and I’ve been to some excellent events on the spur of the moment over this last year.

But sometimes saying yes becomes too much. It’s one thing to say yes to new opportunities and experiences, but it’s quite another matter to say yes to silly humdrum administrative stuff without thinking. Even worse is saying yes to new work when really you are too busy to carry out existing obligations. Over the last year, I have been in the happy position of being asked to show/exhibit/participate in events far more than I have experienced rejection. Just as soon as I had honed my positive-response-to-rejection-skills, exciting opportunities began to pop up all over the place, and I answered yes to everything. I was excited, flattered, enthused and inspired in equal measure, and so far -just – the plates remain spinning.

After some thought, though, I realise what I need is to become ‘No’ Woman for a bit. Well, selectively of course. I could start with ‘no’ to absolutely every aspect of the house. Some might say I’m quite proficient at that already, but I would argue there’s always room for improvement here. I could do with saying ‘no’ to every evening function for a fortnight, and every daytime social meet. I could switch off all mobile devices for a period. I could pretend I was uncontactable and away on holiday in some remote jungle.

What would it be like? Would I dare I even try? It seems the ultimate anti-social act in the 21st century to cut oneself off from the outside world, but just occasionally, I find it an immensely appealing prospect.


3 responses to Yes Man? No, Man.

  1. Earlier this year I was stuck in the bush for 6 weeks- away from all internet, mobile phones and other modern conveniences and it did me the world of good. The world that I’d suddenly cut off did suffer a bit of stress though, but it was still there when I came back- renewed and improved. I love your blog. Always an interesting read of a unique viewpoint (I am not fond of housework either).

    • gillianholding – Author

      Getting stuck in the bush for six weeks sounds temptingly lovely!

      I’m so pleased you enjoy the blog; thank you for your encouraging and motivating remarks!

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