No Regrets – Well Almost None

I changed my status from “Employed full-time” to “Unemployed, Not Looking for Work” just three years ago. Some people call this retirement while I refer to it as Movin’ On. It has, for me, a more positive connotation.

Before this event, I read a list of tips for retirement. The advice I found most useful was to “Say Yes More Often.”

Wow! What a great bumper sticker, as I call short phrases with a strong, memorable message. Each word counts. First, “Say” means you need to hear yourself say yes. Second, “Yes,” is a very explicit term with no wiggle room. It is unconditional. “More” is a relative term, so it leaves room for thought and consideration. It isn’t “always.” And finally, “Often,” another relative word, gives you an exit strategy to say no if that is best for you. 

This bumper sticker helps me change from a default response to being ready for adventure. “No, thanks. I’m busy.” To “Yes, that sounds like fun.” Defaults can always be changed, but it takes conscious thought.

Here’s what happened when I was open to adventure shortly after Movin’ On. There was an ad in the local paper for volunteers to pick up garbage during an event. I figured I could do that, and it was a one-off. I’d still be free to be Movin’ On. I said yes, called them and was chosen to volunteer on garbage detail. The event was an activity with the city’s Department of Arts and Heritage. 

That connection opened up the opportunity to buy an annual membership. This led to an invitation to tour the new Art Gallery before starting the Annual General Meeting. My default is usually, “No thanks, I’m busy.” But I remembered my bumper sticker and couldn’t think of a good reason not to go. What could possibly go wrong, I thought.

While there, I had a tour of the new Art Gallery. One painting kept drawing me back. It was stunning. I looked at the purchase price, and it was out of my league. This was a time to consciously say no. I didn’t buy it. But I didn’t see this coming. I rented it. I had it hanging in my home for 4 months. I enjoyed its company every single day.

I learned that I could rent other paintings starting at under $15/month with a month to month arrangement. Some of the rental fees would go to the artist, which is important to me.

That experience led me to wonder why more people didn’t know how inexpensive art was to rent. How could I help raise that awareness, rent more paintings, and get more money into artists’ hands?

And finally, that led to discussions with the Art Gallery about how I could help make that happen. What fun I’m having just on this one adventure.

I said “Yes” to being on garbage patrol. Any regrets? Only one. I wish I had read that bumper sticker, “Say Yes More Often,” much earlier in my life.

Give a think about incorporating this simple bumper sticker into your life.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley