fomo, yolo, saying yes, and saying no

{i stole this photo from the internet}

last night was the lighting of the bay lights. when i heard about this, i knew i couldn’t miss it. public installation art? and a huge light sculpture at that? on the bay bridge??? san francisco, huge crowds, a thrilling, sparkling, iconic moment in time? now that is right up my alley.

but the day of the event fell on a truly stressful day and week for me. work is crazy right now – i am wrapping up a project i have been working on for a year – and i just got back from a weekend trip that left me way behind on everything, and my budget wouldn’t be happy with a tank full of gas or a caltrain ticket to the city, and the boy is dreadfully sick, and i feel entirely overwhelmed. so i flirted with the thought of missing the lighting of the bay lights.

but, oh, how my fomo (fear of missing out!) kicked in. i have it worse than anyone i know. how could i miss this? my yolo (you only live once!) mentality told me to forget about work and other responsible things and go – this is only going to happen once, and it’s my city…a light sculpture on the bay bridge!!

this is a serious wrestle for me – last night’s decision is a microcosm for life in general. i believe i can have it all and i fight, fight, fight to have the best of both worlds, to not make a trade-off, to make both or all work. i think this is a good quality and it has certainly helped me to have it all in many situations throughout my life, for which i am happy and grateful.

but. sometimes you have to say no. and somewhere there is a trade-off. and there is so much power in sacrifice. yes – yolo! since i only live once, i want to make those sacrifices when i can and when i should. because saying no is liberating and ennobling and sometimes so, so right.

i stayed in palo alto last night. it rained in the city and i heard the lighting was quite underwhelming. and the bridge will light up every night for the next two years. so – i guess i actually can have it all.


  1. It's such a hard thing in life, isn't it? I have FOMO way bad, but now that I'm a grown up with responsibilities, often I have to choose the sensible thing instead of the exciting, memorable thing. But I always remind myself, that is how I show the people I love that I love them (my husband and kids), by putting their needs above my own. Same thing goes for your work and your relationship with yourself, I think! Being responsible is like a little gift of less stress to your future self! (But it's still hard to miss out on fun stuff.)

  2. Charity!! With all of this hype about "the boy," you cannot have a blog title with "saying yes" in it and have it not be about a proposal... seriously. I was so so so excited when I read the title.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS! This is huge! You actually gave up "having it once"! I am so happy for you! LOVE IT!


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