As the New Year draws an imaginary line in the sand of time when we reflect on the past and look forward to the future, I am not so inclined to make resolutions but I do mull over the year and consider how best to live an intentional life each day.
Buying a new home was an important event for my husband and me in 2013. It is the first house that we have owned together. The feeling of it being “ours” was significant and symbolic of our life together. In our new home, we have done a lot of entertaining, our children have visited and it provided a safe haven while it sheltered us from the Boulder floods in September.
On the work front, I set some high goals for myself and achieved them. There were many times when I wanted to give up and had little faith in myself, but with the huge support of my husband, I persevered and succeeded.
It was a wonderful year filled with long-time and new friends, trips to visit family and the simple joys of nesting in our house that is surrounded by nature at its best.
WHAT WILL 2014 BRING?
More time with family & friends –
The older I get, the more mindful I become of how precious my dear friends and family are to me. Perhaps it is the nature of aging that makes us more aware that time is short so every second spent with loved ones are important and cherished experiences.
A long awaited honeymoon to Europe. When asked what our New Year’s resolutions were during a dinner over the holidays, my husband responded with, “I want to take a real honeymoon this year”. He said it with such love and almost regret about the fact that we were not able to take the time to honeymoon after our wedding that I became choked up with emotion. The next day we began planning our trip, bought our plane tickets and committed to our long awaited celebration, which will take us to France, Italy, Spain and Morocco.
Expressing gratitude and love –
Years ago I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to say “I love you” to a friend before I got off the phone with him. One week later he passed away. At that moment I was so grateful that I had communicated my love to him. Those three words and other expressions of our feelings towards another are so powerful. Life is uncertain and I never want someone I love to question how I feel about them, so I tell them.
Living a more fearless life –
It is easy to become complacent or to allow fear to control the direction of life. In 2013, I began a bucket list of sorts – a list of things I had not experienced or achieved because, for one reason or another, a component of fear stopped me from taking the steps needed to accomplish a task or experience that was meaningful to me. What I found was a huge sense of gratification each time I pushed through and overcame my fears to reach my objective.
Cultivate optimism –
Say “good-bye” to unnecessary drama –
As we all know, shit happens, and it happens to all of us. There are real dramas in life so don’t make life’s daily mishaps into a major dramas. I’m just so over unnecessary negative situations that crop up, which don’t serve any positive purpose. I’ve made a decision to simply walk away from the people who feel the need to create those events and I will step away and not participate in the drama. Period.
Remain authentic and value what is unique in others –
I’ll be flying my freak flag proudly this year! Comparing yourself to someone else can be toxic. If we see ourselves as “better” than others, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority. If we feel that we don’t stack up well to someone we are comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss what makes us unique and special. Social comparison is never a good thing. Celebrating authenticity and our differences is a great thing!
Practice the art of kindness –
It’s just such an easy way to make the world a better place for all of us. I think thoughtfulness, compassion and grace are contagious so hopefully, if I operate from a place of goodness, it will somehow pay forward. At the very least, I will be rewarded with knowing that my actions are kind and loving.
I don’t know why this one is so hard for most of us, but it is. The ego so often takes the lead and we feel we can’t let go of our anger. My belief is that hanging on to anger and hostility is one of the most dangerous acts known to mankind. It is the underlying cause of wars and at the end of the day, nobody wins, especially the party harboring the resentment and bad feelings. Forgive.
Be present more often –
I admit that I am guilty of getting lost in my own world at times and not being fully present with my surroundings. Computers, cell phones and ipads are so distracting and our addiction to them so pervasive that we miss out on experiences that are going on around us while we are focused on the lame outfit Kanye and Kim are wearing or winning a computer game. I am resolved to setting aside the electronics on a more regular basis and BEING in my life.
Commit to my goals –
I really worked on this one last year and saw that I was able to accomplish so much more by simply setting goals and giving myself benchmarks to hit on a definite timeline.
This is so crucial to my happiness and wellbeing that is has to be a non-negotiable priority. Exercising, eating well and doing all that I can to keep myself healthy is a no brainer and a gift to my family and myself.
Be a more conscience consumer –
The more I learn about some of the companies that I have supported through the years by buying their products, the more horrified I am by discovering how detrimental their manufacturing and operating practices are to the environment and mankind. My goal is to benefit socially and environmentally ethical companies through the power of purchasing.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!