Donna Ryan / Lifestyle & Retirement

Every Yes Counts

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When I was younger I thought as I got older my days would be less busy.  I smile as I type this blog this morning at how happy I am that I was wrong.  At this wonderful age of 56 I am busier than ever and feeling happier than I have in a while

I will admit I was quite nervous when I said yes to a nursery teacher’s aide position at our church school last month as it has been 28 years since I have worked a full time job.  My main concern was how would I be able to keep everything going being out of the house 40 hours a week.   I also felt that I may be a bit old to be working with children.

I decided I must answer my concerns the same way I would advise a friend with the same dilemma.  My mantra; you get further with the word yes than no.  Give it a shot; you will never know what your capable of if you do not try.

The first few weeks of work was overwhelming and I did feel a little bit silly singing The wheels on the bus go round and round but it did not take me long to get the hang of it.  Kevin and I had shared a good laugh earlier when he mentioned he heard me singing in the shower the morning song we sing with the children in class each day.  I love the first line of the song as it reminds me how grateful I am as I jump out of bed with a purpose.

“When the sun is coming up and the day is dawning; that’s the time to wake right up early in the morning” . 

I was beginning to master my work routine but I was very frustrated at my home organizational abilities.  I was getting stressed as I was trying to do in three hours a day what I had 8 to do before working.

One morning while enjoying my first cup of coffee I quietly had a conversation with myself and came up with the obvious answer    I cannot respond to everything!  It is impossible!!!  I gave myself permission to say it is fine if everything does not get done today.   I am learning despite being busier than ever to slow down.

Each day meets different energy and the journey changes from one to another.  Some afternoons are met with me having lots of spunk  where I drag out the mop, bucket and go crazy cleaning; other days I am just able to answer a few phone calls.  There are days I feel tired and I will sit with the remote control and if I feel like reading a book I do.  I had not written a blog in a while and today I missed writing so after errands I made it a point to open the laptop and hit the keyboard.

Last weekend we decided to not care about anything and got in the car and took a nice drive to see the fall foliage, visit a winery and buy a fresh baked apple pie.  Life cannot be only work, cooking, cleaning, errands, eating and sleeping.

Once I learned to take the pressure off of myself it seems things are getting done much smoother.

Shortly after I accepted my job Kevin and I were asked to teach religion classes every Sunday after mass.  We never thought we would have the time to do this successfully but in truth we cannot wait to plan each weeks lesson and in the process we have wonderful conversations.  Another say yes success.

My point in writing this post today; I have the same 10,080 minutes a week now that I have always had.  When you are doing things that make your heart happy you find the time.  This is possible at any age.  Life is to be lived.  No matter what is going on happiness cannot be put on hold.  Do not put off saying yes because you are too busy!

I think back on the rainy day when a friend convinced me to come with her to help prepare Thanksgiving dinners for the homebound at church.  I was torn and broken and did not want to go with her.  She forced me and in the process I received the greatest gift I will ever get.  I learned to breathe again.  Had I said no I would not be in this wonderful place today.

I never believed when you bravely face anxious feelings and enter doors opened to you how many great paths come your way.  I read about it in books and never thought for a second it would happen to me.

It did!

Kevin and I are now in charge of orchestrating the Thanksgiving dinner for the homebound and we are blessed as this project holds a special place in our hearts.

No matter how busy I get in my life it is my duty to wake up each day and help others find their breath.  If it means from time to time I must ignore an overflowing hamper, a dirty dish in the sink or some dust on a bookshelf that is just fine with me.

Yes I may look silly singing the wheels on the bus and I hear the cracking of my knees when I bend down to tie shoes but despite these things children keep you feeling young.  I will not allow a number to dictate what I can or cannot do.

I have learned that every yes definitely does count.  While before I had a very organized life there was no loud belting of songs from the shower.

I now wake up and look forward to the excitement of a new day.

I truly found in my life that every yes most definitely does count.

When the sun is coming up and the day is dawning, that’s the time to wake right up early in the morning!

Editor’s Note:  Visit AFL member Donna Ryan at her website:  She says, “I have always thrived on inspiration. I love reading it everywhere I can find it. I am 56 and it has been a journey with many twists and turns. I invite all 50+ women to join me in discussions on this second chapter. Our road ahead is fun and exciting because these truly are the best days of our lives.”

I thrive on inspiration; I read it every day and I try to live and share it through my actions. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be very frightening. I have learned that I will never grow if I don’t face fear! I encourage all women to join me on this sometimes weird and scary adventure. Let’s discuss all sorts of things from makeup colors, to recipes, books, funny jokes and everything in between. We are on this journey together so let’s gather around and share our stories, dreams, and goals as well as happy and sad times too. You name it; we can do it! We are fifty something and these are the best days of our lives. No matter what the circumstances you are living you are only a keystroke away from friends that care! So join the circle of the 50plusstickingtogether friendship chain. Let’s keep learning, growing and inspiring each other together. It’s Never Too Late!!! Visit AFL member Donna Ryan at her website:

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