Page 9 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2017 - 24-01
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SORTING THE NEW YEAR
Ending a year and beginning a new one... What a great time for introspec- tion and pondering priorities! Although there is truth that some behavior repeated oft enough becomes a habit, resolutions do not have to have mea- surable goals.
Rather I consider many areas of my life and where they fall among priorities. Towards the year's end I celebrate the year by realizing which of the year's goals were pursued unto progress. That also leads to a candid appraisal of those that sat by the way- side.
When choosing priorities for a new year, an easy starting point is to reaffirm those ideals that have become a way of life.
I have already figured out how to make them work for me and my fam- ily. In some cases moving toward a lifestyle change, even successfully, may have only been a starting point. Now that it was successful, I can con- sider another, perhaps larger, step in that same direction.
First is moving toward healthy. That sure does take a lot of consid- eration. This year I made baby steps in hydration by drinking some water every day. Now I am willing to try
for a larger amount of water. If I don't make this coming year's goal, I am likely to maintain this year's level, so
I stay positive about the challenge. I even love to cook but don't take the time to make those healthy recipes I collect. To take time for this not only needs mental resolve, but trading off how I use time. What to cut...? Can
I include others in any aspect of this “me” time? Similarly, exercise and moving needs to be maintained and expanded. I need to get past the men- tality that time taken to just exercise is a waste of time. I've got to get healthy. I think through my favorite hobbies
of hiking, photography, Pokemon Go, and mushrooming. Ping pong, which I call “bend and stoop” (because I miss the ball and pick it up so often), could be “us” and “movement” time when weather drives me indoors.
An easy consideration is the desire to spend more time with family. Rapid streams of thoughts follow. Two family members have become terminally ill this year. I am sure they will need sup- port and we will want to spend more time with them. Sometimes a warning gives us the prompting to spend that time! Candidly, this may impact the overall plan for changes in the coming year. Time and energy and finances for travel have to come from somewhere in a finite world. So knowing this is a great priority now will shape commit- ments to others, shape discretionary
spending, and prepare me mentally to dive into these loved ones lives. More pondering goes into what would be special for both of us. It's time to look for that awesome sentimental gift or get them to a place where another item on their bucket list can be checked off. What a year this may be!
What other changes have happened throughout four generations of fam- ily. New babies? Marriages? Moving near or far? Change of employment? Grandkids starting school? Between my kids' work schedules we have been limited to three hours a week when there is even a possibility of having all of them together. With one employer change, that may expand this year. Yeah! There are a few holiday tradi- tions we have thought about starting. Deciding now which ones to pursue gives me time to plan without last minute hassles. Then overlay school programs, dance recitals, and festivals we'd like the grandkids to go to with us. What a plan!
Then there is home and hearth. I made progress on organizing my craft supplies and workspace. I also started a fairy garden, with plans to include the grandkids. We even tackled a
good chunk of the storage area, which proved we can work together and make progress. Being finite I have to consid- er whether other items on my bucket list will be pursued or just stick with these for another year. This past year
I stopped gardening because I needed to move energy, time, and resources
to other priorities. Better to know this before we order seeds or start some- thing I don't want to be one of “our” projects. I could not communicate this change until I made the decision.
Pondering makes me sure that I am sure about such a change.
Time in the community has still been a slender slice of life. Will I increase or decrease time spent with community groups? Although I miss ones I have walked away from, being finite has not changed. Will I swap one out to add one I dropped? Do any of the groups I am interested in feed into the other goals? My health, time with grandkids, bucket list items for loved ones, crafting, or book club? I may need to look around. Or is it the year to take a class to improve photography skills? Unless I decide to turn toward more serious education of another degree. Oh, the possibilities.
This time of self-examination gets me ready to talk through changes
and challenges with family and close friends. I do need and enjoy their support. But I need to take this time with myself first. What a great time of reflection, celebration, and anticipa- tion. Bring on the New Year!
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Senior Times - January 2017
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