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If you’re new here, my OneWord for 2020 is YES. In the interest of staying accountable to my year of YES, I am providing a monthly recap of how I am doing. Click here to see all the posts. 

year of yes recap

It seems every month of this Year of Yes has surprised me, each in different ways. September was no different. I had one very big yes that birthed a couple of unexpected yeses. Here is what my Year of Yes looked like in September:


Technically I said yes to this earlier this year but Covid. Finally, however, I was able to have a much-needed surgery in September. It was major surgery and to be honest, I was a little nervous going into it.

There was A LOT of work I had to do to manage my thoughts in the weeks leading up to it. I wondered if I should say good-bye to loved ones. I told my sister how to get into my computer and phone “just in case”. It was a challenging time for me internally. I had to draw on ALL my inner resources and a few of my coaching tools to help me navigate that headspace.

Thankfully I got through the surgery without any complications and was home within two days. Once I got home though, that’s when the real fun started with unexpected opportunities to say yes.


My recovery has gone much slower than I expected. To be clear, it has progressed exactly as the doctor said. She told me it would be a six to eight week recovery period. I, however, heard four to six weeks and definitely leaned heavily into believing I would be around the four-week mark. What can I say? I’m an overachiever 🤷🏽‍♀️.

My body has had very different ideas and I have needed more rest than I thought I would. It has been fascinating for me to witness an interesting belief emerge during my recovery. There have been many days when I felt tired and wanted to take a nap. However, I struggled to do it because I hadn’t “done anything to be tired”. Never mind that my body was expending a lot of energy to heal itself. I believed I had to be doing something physical to earn the right to rest.

This idea of earning the right to rest is very harmful. I plan to write a separate post about this idea because it emerged so powerfully for me in September. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who could use a mindset overall on this topic. More to come on this one. For now, I DID eventually say yes to resting whenever it felt like my body needed it. It was and continues to be good for me and for my healing.

Asking for Help

This was by far the hardest yes for me this year. I have a hard time asking for help. I know this is an issue and the surgery has helped me begin to get over it.

When I first came home, I was in a lot of pain and moving was slow going at best. I needed a lot of help. My sister stayed with me for a few days helping me get settled. Friends provided meals for me. And another friend gifted me two things that made sleeping much more comfortable than it was initially.

As time has gone on though, I have needed ongoing help. I can’t drive and I’m not allowed to lift anything more than ten pounds. I have had to ask for help to get groceries, to pick up things for me at Target, and to get my medications from the pharmacy.

I’ve also not been able to get back to cooking anything beyond scrambled eggs. So, I’ve had to ask friends to continue providing meals for me. In the first couple of weeks, I was able to easily receive that help. As time has progressed asking became harder and yet I had to do it. My body didn’t give me much choice.

I can’t say asking for help is any easier. What I will say is that saying yes to asking for help was both necessary and very, very good for me. I’m far too independent for my own good and recovering from this surgery is teaching me that leaning on others is not a bad thing.

Lessons Continue

As we head into the final quarter of 2020, I continue to be amazed at how much this year of yes has taught me. I can’t wait to see what other delights await me as we make our way towards the end of the year.

Okay, now it’s your turn. How was your September? I’d love to hear in the comments below. Or you can email me at makeda(at)makedapennycooke(dot)com.

From my heart to yours,

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. […] October saw me return to my love of teaching and facilitating, albeit in a virtual environment. On the one hand, the energy of a virtual space is different than in-person and I definitely prefer in-person. On the other though, the fact they were virtual allowed me to use my gifts even as my recovery continued. […]

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