Yes, And…

gap_year_photoDespite, or perhaps because Sam and I have been married for 40 years, we disagree about a lot of things. But we’ve been in surprising agreement about launching this blog and chronicling our decision to take a gap year at ages 61 (Debbie) and almost 62 (Sam). I know that sounds old to some of you reading this. Trust me. It’s really not.

We’re doing a gap year 40 years after you’re supposed to do it. Gap years typically come right before university, or right after college but before you enter the real world. It’s something we talked about when we met and fell in love (I was a freshman, he was a sophomore). But somehow it never happened, primarily because of Sam’s career as a physician. For Sam that meant, consecutively, college, medical school, residency, fellowship and then 31 years in private practice as a gastroenterologist in Washington DC.

By contrast, my life has had more pauses, hiccups, twists and turns, what with three children and at least three careers (journalist, social media consultant and now eBook publisher and book coach). Oh there’s a lot I need to explain to you. Sam and I are a team but we’re also fiercely individual. For today, let’s focus on Yes, And…

Yes, And… is the signature phrase of improv acting. It keeps things moving and lively by building on what the person said before you. No, But… is not allowed because it refutes what came before. It disrupts the flow of the riff. It brings things to a halt.

Yes, And…  is something Sam and I don’t do enough of when we’re talking to each other. We decided it’s the necessary foundation to a year of adventure; travel (first stop, Paris); learning new things (Spanish? Skydiving? Fly fishing? Painting? Piano?); saving the world (Sam: health care reform); uncertainty (do we have enough money??); and figuring out what comes next. Stay tuned.

8 Responses to Yes, And…

  1. Elizabeth April 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Wheeee! Can’t wait to read about your year of improv. Have fun!

  2. Leslie Camacho (@AdventureLC) April 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    This is inspiring Debbie! I’m looking forward to following along via your writing and photos. If your Gap travels bring you to Bend, Oregon, I’m buying.

  3. Kate Salisbury April 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Yes and I look forward to reading about this

  4. Laura Warren April 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Gap semester after 50 just doesn’t have the same ring to it! 🙂 but we are equally looking forward to our time away and are still very much looking forward to seeing you in Maine this summer or fall … your house, our house or both! By the way, have you seen the Booklet entitled The Reynolds Houses on the Fox Islands and Their Families? Put together by John Hanson? Loads of photos of the old houses. If you haven’t seen it and would like a pdf remind me of your e-mail address and I will send it to you!

    Laura

  5. Cynthia June 2, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Love it! Can’t wait to read more of your exciting year as you “travel” through it. Ya’ll don’t even look like you’re 61 and almost 62 years old!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why it’s OK to have a (non)plan for a Gap Year | Gap Year After Sixty - June 1, 2013

    […] We believe that less… can be more. That means a smaller house, a much smaller budget and living in a less expensive city. And we believe that a guiding principle should be “Yes, and… ” […]

  2. Gap Year After Sixty | Q. & A. with Debbie and Sam on “collaboration” - July 4, 2013

    […] D: Yes, and…  […]

  3. What About the Money? More on Downsizing and Leaving D.C. | Gap Year After Sixty - May 14, 2014

    […] I said a year ago, we disagree about almost everything. The small things, that is. The big things we slowly come to agreement on. And that’s how we find […]

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