It’s easy to settle into routine, and yet while most of us are aware of the usual routine thing — the same breakfast, bedtime, or route to work — I don’t think most people realize they’ve fallen into the routine of saying no.

My favorite example of this is when you’re out at a restaurant, and everyone is looking at the menu, oohing at the selection, and then it comes time to order and everyone orders some version of the same thing they always get. You know it’s going to be delicious, so you go with that, even though there are twenty other options that might actually be tastier.

I recently recognized I’ve somewhat fallen into the routine of saying no when it comes to going to museums or things like that. I moved to Manhattan and kind of forgot about the museum world… slash I blame living in Italy for burning me out on museums, but that’s a different story. When I have friends in town, usually I’ll offer to meet up with them after they’ve done their museum rounds. There are literally hundreds of cultural events going on every night, and I somehow manage to find a way to just stay in.

Just the other week a friend texted asking if I wanted to go to the Rain Room at the MoMa. My first inclination was to say “thank you, no thank you.” The line was allegedly two hours long, and where was the point in that? But then I got a work call that was rather obnoxious and I decided I needed a break from the desk.

I texted back “would love to go!” and off I went, fully preparing to wait in line for far too long.

And then something sort of great happened. I got to spend an hour with my friend in line, ranting and raving about my #freelanceproblems, and then before we knew it we were actually in the rain room. Despite being told that we might not get in, we might have two or three hours to wait, our timing had been perfect and everything fell into place. Simply because I said yes. More or less.

My point in all of this is that sometimes it’s just too easy to say “Thank you, no.” It just rolls right off the tongue and before we know it we’re oblivious to the world of possibility that we have access to every day. So go ahead and put yourself out there. Say “yes” even when your first inclination might be a casually reserved no, and push yourself to be more aware of the possibilities around you. You never know what great opportunities might be dancing in the rain right before your eyes.

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