Aspen Princess: Being in the ‘yes’ is a good place to visit in 2019 |

Aspen Princess: Being in the ‘yes’ is a good place to visit in 2019

Alison Berkley Margo
The Aspen Princess

“Our mantra for today is to say yes in 2019,” the yoga teacher said, as if reading it from a script. “Where will you be in the new year if you are in the yes?”

Leave it to a yoga teacher to flip a word on its head (much like we do with our bodies) by turning “yes” into a destination.

She talked about this idea throughout class. “Say yes to this pose!” she’d cheer. “Say yes to something that scares you, that takes you out of your comfort zone. See where yes can take you!” She was pert and thin, all long legs and arms, and clad in teal blue leggings, the high-waisted kind that are currently in fashion. I’d bet she was in her 20s, a local ski bum turned yoga teacher who has the wide eyes of a baby chick who has just hatched from its egg.

I have to admit that by the end of class my eye-rolling had subsided, and I began to embrace this idea of all the things I could say “yes” to in 2019.

For starters, I can say yes to making an appointment as soon as humanly possible for my overdue dose of Botox, but how about also saying yes to fillers? As I approach my fifth decade on this planet, gravity has done its job on my jawline and cheeks, beginning its downward trajectory into old age. I can’t very well show up at preschool pick-up with jowls like some old, fat, drooling bulldog whose tongue hangs out of the side of its mouth. As an older parent, I need to keep up appearances! I’m sure a little something-something in the cheek area would do wonders for my jawline and give me a more plump and youthful appearance.

Speaking of plump, I can also say “yes” to self-care, a wonderful new catchphrase that essentially entitles entitled people to indulge themselves but still make it sound selfless and necessary. Part of that means continuing to work out twice a week at Ripple Effect, a private gym in Carbondale that might cost a few extra pennies than say, the local YMCA, but has produced fantastic results.

I had no idea I would need to train for the rigors of raising a toddler, but when you have a 32-pound baby who thinks it’s fun to jump off chairs, couches and staircases and into your arms with very little in the way of warning, you need to pump some serious iron. There’s also the need to launch a full sprint through Whole Foods when he decides to play another round of keep away, jumping over various displays and then wrangling him into a death grip so I can carry him out of the store as he kicks his legs and flails his arms and carries on as if I am torturing him, trying to escape.

Working out at the gym twice a week also means I get to feel like a million bucks on the slopes as I shoosh my way down Highland Bowl with nary a thigh burn, but that might sound a little too selfish for the song I’m singing here.

Now that I’ve whittled myself back down to a fashionable size, I can also say yes to the dress, so to speak, and indulge myself in a little wardrobe update, which, let’s face it, is long overdue. As the mother of a 2-foot-tall tyrant, I’ve been parading around in leggings and oversized tops (the modern version of a mu-mu) for way too long and am ready to take the seam up a few inches and think about wearing pants with a good old-fashioned zipper and maybe even a button or two. Next time I try to resist stepping into Free People or Pitkin County Dry Goods, I’m just going to stop with this nonsense and just say yes. Isn’t that what zero percent interest credit cards are for?

I also might try saying yes to making a little more money in 2019. As a writer, you get into this mindset where you’re so grateful to be answering your calling and doing a job that allows you to be creative that you think it’s OK not to make a lot of money. It’s the starving artist mentality, and the very definition of being an artist, at least in my mind, is this sense of suffering that’s almost built in. The very channel that allows you to be more sensitive and perceptive to the world around you is also the part of you that is self-deprecating, humble and maybe even a little self-defeating. There’s a part of you that’s so terrified of your own success that you’re afraid to even try.

For many years now, I’ve said yes to making less money as a writer than I did 20 years ago. I’ve decided it’s time to say yes to raising my value, if not to the rate of inflation then at least to a rate that will afford me all this other stuff I’m saying yes to.

Why not say yes to making more than three-figure paychecks and figuring out how to parlay my skills into something more current, more valuable and more financially viable? Why have I never thought of this before?

Maybe because it’s hard to invest your time and money into work that may or may not yield a return. Or maybe it’s because it’s terrifying to put yourself out there with a passion project that might end in failure. Maybe it’s easier to just keep life simple and enjoy all that I have now, because I do.

Or maybe I can listen to that twiggy young yoga teacher with the big eyes and short little ponytail that sticks up like cub ears and admit that I heard what she said. Yes, I did.

The Princess is freezing and thinking of saying yes to using miles for plane tickets to Hawaii. Email your love to