“Why not” – two simple words that mean so much. While recently visiting my aging father-in-law, he used the expression many times responding to both simple and complex questions. I pondered his reply to determine if the response was a quick, standard answer to eliminate the need to consider my question or was there meaning behind his reply. To find out, I asked him if he wanted to go out for dinner and his response was, “it is too cold;” so he clearly was not using “why not” as a standard answer.
What did he mean by “why not?” I specifically asked him that question, hoping he would engage with me rather than be passive as he had been in the past. In fact, this time was different – he said he was willing to participate in almost everything we suggested with zest and excitement. I quickly concluded he was not complacent at all, but instead truly eager to consider each situation agreeably.
As I pondered this newsletter’s theme to kick-off the New Year, my husband suggested using “why not.” My initial response was “why not?” – seemed very fitting and appropriate. What if we were more open to ideas rather than being in a routine or rut? Whether embracing a new hobby, developing an exercise program or viewing movies nominated for academy awards, all support the goal of agreeing to venture out of standard and customary routines of our daily schedule.
“Why not” forgive someone you are mad at?
“Why not” believe in your intuition?
“Why not” acknowledge loss is difficult yet you will okay?
“Why not” search for hope?
“Why not” embrace 2015 with passion?
Do we say no because it is easier and simpler than saying yes? Especially when challenged with any type of loss, our natural tendency is to simplify our responses; yet simplicity can be stifling and limiting. While we need to remain in that state as long as we need to mourn the loss, at some point stepping out of our comfort zone to embrace the challenge will be empowering, helpful and encouraging.
Embracing newness can provide a fresh and bright start to the New Year. When challenged by the desire to answer a question with “no,” consider asking yourself “why not” before providing your final answer.
Rachel Kodanaz is an author, speaker and coach who provides encouragement to those who are suffering a loss or setback. Following the sudden loss of her husband, her experience in the management of large corporations led her to publish resources, provide training and consultation supporting grief and loss in the workplace. She is the author of Living with Loss, One Day at a Time offering daily encouragement to individuals and families who have lost a loved one or are suffering from any form of loss. The best-seller book provides 365 daily lessons and thought-provoking ideas provide hope, optimism, introspection, and self-discovery.