Today is the last day of 2014. Tomorrow we begin anew with a fresh slate. Tradition in many cultures is to start the new year by resolving to be better in some way. The most popular resolutions are typically (1) lose weight, (2) exercise more and (3) quit smoking. Despite their initial determination, most people don’t reach their goals. I know I’ve been one of those people. Though I never smoked, the first two options have been on my list for years with little headway made after the first couple of weeks into the new year. So, this year I’m just going to cut to the chase and not make those resolutions. I’ve recently lost 7 pounds and kept it off over the holidays so I feel like I’m already a winner in regard to that situation. I thought about making no resolutions. However, after reading some of my posts of 2014, I decided to make more long-term commitments. I invite you to join me.
Following are my resolutions for 2015:
1. Remain open to change. I’ve written that change is the one thing in life we can count on. The future is unknown and often delivers surprises. Instead of grumbling about those surprises, look for opportunities, even in adversity. I once worked with a man, who, in the face of business upsets, would always, ALWAYS, sit calmly and ask, “How can we turn this into an opportunity?” His success in life was not an accident; it was his acceptance of and adapting to a changing world, which made him a success.
2. Accept what is without fighting it. My friend in Number 1 accepted downturns as a fact of life. Instead of fighting what is, he decided if there was a way to turn the outcome to his advantage, making lemonade of his business lemon, he would gladly accept that glass. Philosopher Lao Tzu advised, “Practice not doing.” Not doing means not complaining about the circumstance we can’t control, not expending energy fighting the obvious, thus creating stress in our lives, but instead, embracing it.
3. Practice mindfulness. My mantra the last couple of months, which goes hand in hand with Numbers 1 and 2, is, “Let my emotions arise and dissolve.” If life throws me a curveball, I work to stay in the moment, acutely aware of everything in that moment, as I respond from my left brain. I pretend I’m a little duck letting the water (emotions) roll off my back before I swim into the deep end creating unnecessary stress. This has lightened my self-created burdens already so I plan on continuing to travel light in 2015.
These are my resolutions for 2015 and beyond. Simple yet life changing ideas, which have altered my attitude toward aging. If these don’t work for you, think of attitude changing ideas, which may work. Or, you could decide to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier or something else. Or, you could do nothing at all. Whatever you resolve to do, from me to you, my readers, I wish you much joy and positive living in 2015.
Some words to practice in 2015 by one of my favorite writers aligns with your thoughts: “A little rest and meditation often saves a lot of riding over rough country.” I should have pondered Louis L’Amour’s insights more closely, not waiting til “re-wired” chapter 3!
I hereby resolve to transition into retirement! Tomorrow is my last day with my employer of 34 years (I’m 54). So many emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum. 🙂
Congratulations! I hope my posts have helped you prepare. It is definitely a transition, especially after so many years in one place. Best wishes for a smooth transition.
Kathy, I just discovered your blog, and read all of the archived entries. I am coming from a somewhat different perspective; I am 58 and have been a stay at home mom for almost all of my adult life. Yes, we still exist! I actually have a law degree, but only worked for several years and then stayed home when I began having my children; 3 sons within about 8 years. I didn’t plan to leave my job, but found myself unable to tear myself away from my firstborn, and that played out after the birth of each successive child. When the final child entered school, I was basically unemployable in the legal profession. And if I am totally honest, I liked the life I had built for myself with a fairly close knit group of other stay at home women. During those years I found plenty to do to keep myself busy, as long as I was home by 2:30 to begin the afternoon activities, driving, etc. I volunteered in 3 different schools, in addition to helping at my synagogue, hockey, etc. Of course there were endless amounts of laundry, meals to cook, and the list goes on. So now my “boys” are young adults, the last one is 22. I have become irrelevant and obsolete. My friends are still around but many are floundering. I did and still am teaching very part time in a religious school (for which I do get paid),but honestly, there is a huge void.
That being said, I think that it is a bit easier for someone like me to be “in retirement mode” because I have built a network for the past 25 years, but I still feel like I have been fired from my job as mom!! It is funny, because my husband is a physician, and will probably work another 5 years. When we run into people we know from our boys’ childhood or activities, he has no clue who they are, while to me, they are like coworkers!
I feel like I am counting down the months until my husband retires so that at least we are finally on the same page after all of these years.