After a December filled with flu bugs, runny noses, congestion, and a cough that won’t leave, I am thankful for the bright hope of another New Year. Even wearing three layers of clothes as I type while my trusty/toasty space heater cooks my left side, I remember my blessings: I have electricity and a space heater. A house and clothes. Winter Storm Hercules bypassed Atlanta (sorry my Yankee friends). For kleenex, Nyquil, cough drops, and the Doc-in-the-Box down the street. And quiet, the kind that comes when your grown children don’t want their kids to catch what you have. (At least until they need a babysitter.)
2014 is shaping up to be one of those life-altering periods for me. Such moments don’t usually come with advance warning, but this time I’m the one initiating the change. I like to tell people that I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up — RETIRED! At the end of this year, I’ll make it official. And savor each month leading up to it. I’d be a liar if I said it doesn’t make me a little nervous, especially given the state of America’s healthcare system. I’ve always worked, except for a short period of time after my first child was born. Without an employer to set expectations and provide insurance coverage, I’ll have to take care of myself. A scary thought, but freeing.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Never have. It’s impossible to project what your life will be like in…. say April or September. For sure your circumstances won’t match what you have in January. Resolutions are broken because life has twists and turns; because resolution goals are not practical, but mostly because the goal setter relies on hope and chance. (Fail to plan = plan to fail.) Set smaller goals instead..Achievable goals. Daily goals. Be clear about why you want this goal. Understand what you want. Determine what it will it take to meet those daily goals. Take a “glass half full” approach and celebrate your successes. Look ahead to the next one. Don’t dwell on any you don’t quite reach.
My daughter once asked, “If you could go back and relive any one year of your life, Mom, what age would you want to do again?” I challenge you with this question. If there is a favored year, what happened that would induce you to want to repeat it?
After thinking about my answer for a bit I said, “None of them. I have great memories and some not-so-great memories, but each one made me into the person I am today. Each year gets better and better.”
I’ll leave you now to ponder on that thought. What do you have to be thankful for from 2013 and years past? What do you look forward to in 2014?