Sunday, 30 April 2017

Just Say Yes

Just a little Snow Patrol earworm to start with this week 😊 And I'm trying something a little different this week. I was in two minds about it, but going with the post title I decided to just say yes and see what happens. There is also the fact that I'm beginning to see the downside of blogging about beer and cake, in the form of my ever expanding waistline, so it's probably a wise move to lay off both a little, even temporarily. So this week instead of reviews, I'm reflecting on the joy of saying yes.
The received wisdom is that it's important to learn how to say no sometimes, which is probably good advice, but when I think about all the times I've said yes, either to other people, or to myself - especially when I'm in two minds about something, it's pretty much always turned out well. I'ts a cliche, but I do think you're more likely to regret the things you didn't do than the things you did.
Of course, it's partly down to the kind of person you are. I don't like putting people in boxes as a rule, but I do think you can pretty much divide people into those who like to join in and those who don't. I've pretty much always been in the 'join in' camp, which is a bit of a contradiction for an introvert, but (cliche no 2) the more you put into something the more you get out of it, and I suppose I try to apply that to life in general!
Some examples: I imagine most people who get an allotment are happy to get on with growing some veg, and maybe having a chat with their neighbour. Not me, I had to join the committee, and had I not given up my plot last year I would have ended up secretary too (and potentially lost the plot as a result....).
Church - better people than me go to Mass every week, sit quietly in their pew for an hour, go home with not more than a polite word spoken to the priest on the way out. I think it took less than a month for me to end up on the 'teas' rota in my current church, and not much longer than that to end up a Reader. Incidentally, both these things put me quite a long way out of my comfort zone, but that in itself is probably a reason to do something.
Generally speaking, I can't say joining in has more merit than not - it's just a compulsion really, and I imagine life would be less interesting if I didn't, but presumably most people who don't join in are happy enough not to.  So, now to the point, and the 'thing that happened' that prompted me to want to write this post. I've mentioned Tom from Lux Lisbon and his brilliant Song a Week podcasts/blogs previously.  Here's the link again in case you missed it last time. I'm not sure if the start of this story is even a normal experience, but as I was stood at the bus stop on the way to work recently, a thought popped into my head which seemed like it could be an idea for a song. Under normal circumstances it would have just been a passing fancy, but my next thought was 'I know someone who writes songs, I should send Tom an email and see if he can use it'. Of course my next thought after that was, no that's nuts, what kind of weirdo would do something like that? So of course the should I/shouldn't I continued for most of the day until I came back to the point about regretting things you didn't do and I sent the email. Or in other words, just said yes!
I'm sure you've worked out exactly where this is going by now - Tom wrote the song, and I love it 😊
If you'd like to read how the conversation went, you can on Tom's blog here, or, probably the sensible option, just listen to the song here.
Since Lindisfarne was the original inspiration, here's some pics from the last time I was there - if you've never been it's definitely worth a visit.

Obviously, it's beyond amazing that my little thought is now a song, but what's almost more exciting is that other people have heard it and interpreted completely differently to how I originally imagined it, so it's like that seed of an idea has gone off on an exciting journey into the world, just because 1) I said yes to myself and sent the email, and 2) Tom said yes and turned it into a song.
This feels like the end of an episode of Mork and Mindy now, but I guess my conclusion is, if you're ever in any doubt about whether to take a certain path, just say yes, and you never know where it might take you!
I suspect normal service will resume next week, as I've been out on a very windy bike ride today and have a bank holiday beer chilling in the fridge as a reward, but I have to confess, I'm glad I've gone down a different route this week - I'd be interested to hear what you think about it!

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