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Don’t miss out: Say “yes” to these things in Charlotte this year

Here you are, six days into a brand new year. How many times have you said “no” already? To a social outing, a work task, a personal get-your-sh*t-together-already chore, an invitation to anything? How many times did you say “no” to something last year?

A new item on my reading list, “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes (creator/producer of “Grey’s Anatomy”), got me wondering that about myself. It would kind of be a pain to try to count everything I — and you — missed out on last year, so let’s just do some forward-thinking and ask ourselves: What will I say “yes” to this year?

Perhaps start with these 10 things:

(1) That free event.

They pop up all the time. For example: The Bechtler is hosting “Bechtler by Night” the third Friday of every month, giving you free gallery tours from 5-9 p.m.

(2) That friend who asks you to go to the club.

Not too rowdy? Me either, but I’ve had fun at YP mixers at Bubble and Suite at the EpiCentre in my recent past. Loud music and trippy lights can be good for shaking up the routine.

(3) Dinner out.

Just because your New Year, New You budget says you should stay home and cook a cheap pot of chili doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. Those $4 tacos at RuRu’s could be calling your name. Respond. In moderation.

(4) A walk to the grocery store.

These neighborhoods were made for walking. Dilworth/South End has Publix and Harris Teeter AND The Fresh Market. Plaza Midwood has Harris Teeter. Madison Park has Harris Teeter. Ballantyne has Harris Teeter. Piper Glen and Midtown have Trader Joe’s. Use your feet.

(5) A local art purchase.

Pretty doesn’t have to mean pricey. The walls at Mugs Coffee on Park Road are lined with prints and paintings that can cost as little as $10. Fabo at Quail Corners is a good spot for browsing (and cappuccino grabbing), too.

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Mugs Coffee

(6) A free workout.

OK, so you call yourself a runner. But I hear free bootcamp workouts like the ones hosted by FIA (for the ladies) and F3 (for the gents) are great for meeting people — and getting motivated.

(7) Brunch.

There’s nothing better than losing three hours of the afternoon to a breakfast scramble and coffee (and a Bloody) when you’re losing it with friends. Zada Jane’s, you get me. You too, Fern.

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Courtesy of Fern<br>CharlotteFive archives

(8) A night in.

There are at least 20 Redbox locations in this city. Get to one and get to the couch and ignore your phone and go to bed early. It’s called relaxing.

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(9) That first date.

Who cares how awkward it is? Life is awkward. But at least make it interesting — pick one of the restaurants neither of you have tried from Charlotte Mag’s list of the best.

(10) A spontaneous drive to anywhere.

You’re still fun and young and exciting! You can do it! If you’ve never driven south until Providence road runs out, do it. See what’s there. If you’ve never driven until you’ve reached the beach, it’s only about three hours away — Charleston awaits.

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Keep moving. Keep being moved. Say “yes” to something. Say “yes” to anything. Or, maybe, say “yes” to everything.

Photos: Katie Toussaint

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