I’ve heard that it’s important to learn to say ‘no’ in a world of constant interaction, negotiation, and of being asked to participate in just one too many activities. I understand this and have learned to say ‘no’ to people and situations that are draining, harmful to my well-being, or just plain disagreeable. Saying ‘no’ has given me the time and heartspace to say ‘yes’ to new people and events as never before.

This weekend has been a whirlwind of connecting with friends and meeting new ones. Saturday, I had the privilege of listening to a group of talented and creative women at Maria Aponte’s Latina 50+ event held at the Bronx Museum. As a member of the Advisory Board, I’m enjoying my opportunity to experience others in a different sort of way. The conference participants’ boundless energy and endless desire to share knowledge, wisdom, and hope is almost unimaginable. A wonderful thing is that I am a part of this amazing group because I said ‘yes.’

Today, my spouse and I went to a midtown restaurant called, Don’t Tell Mama, to hear a dear friend, Ann McCormack, sing accompanied by musicians. I loved watching her as a performer and seeing her differently than ‘just’ a friend. The other performers wove a wonderfully enjoyable venue for us. During one particular composition I felt inspired. I was inspired to write a piece for my adolescent self, the one who had a terrible time still grieving the death of my sister, moving to a different neighborhood, and saying ‘yes’ to things that I should have said ‘no’ to at the time. At that point in my life I had no idea about the amazing things that were to come my way. I don’t think I would have believed how joyous my life would be. I wouldn’t have listened to me. Today, that adolescent part of me is listening and is encouraged to do things I would never think were possible. I am inspired to write for the adolescent me who is still inside of me and who now has the courage to hear my message- better late than never.


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