I read Shonda Rimes’ The Year of Yes when it first came out. It made the bookshelf cut, reserved for books that moved me (I say YES to purging, whenever possible). As much as I related to it at the time, I must’ve forgotten the key messages. When Carolyn suggested Oprah’s podcast with Shonda,  I gave it a listen. Shonda’s book and transformation were inspired by her sister calling her out. Her sister pointed out the number of invitations Shonda turned down. In the interview, Shonda explained that she turned down many of these due to anxiety or fear.

This is a pattern I recognize in myself. I’ll give you a recent example. I was to do a live segment on one of the big morning shows today. The timing was far from ideal as I was in Maryland for the weekend. Both boys had soccer tournaments and so our return time last night was uncertain. I secured hair and makeup magicians for this morning.

Thursday, I had alerted the show’s producer I’d be out of town for the weekend and not at a computer. I got her the necessary information prior to getting in the car at 7am Friday. On the way down to Bethesda, I received a few frantic emails from her. I answered the best I could from my phone. I was pissed to be putting out fires for her when I wanted to be focused on the kids. I told her I’d be back at my computer late afternoon. Dissatisfied, she called my office. Grace explained my situation, reminded her I had told her I’d be unreachable. Instead of understanding, she took her frustrations out and yelled at Grace.

I told the producer this crossed the line. I am territorial when it comes to anyone close to me.

This was supposed to be a lighthearted Thanksgiving segment; I’m a nutritionist not a neurosurgeon! And I backed out. As soon as I did this, I had two feelings. First, I was relieved. I no longer had my head back in NYC. I could focus on passes and goals and my two soccer players. This was legit. But a part of me didn’t want the pressure of showing up first thing Monday morning, for a segment that wasn’t 100 percent in my wheelhouse. I could make a case this was the correct decision, as a mother. But I know myself and can try to weasel out of certain opportunities.


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