Sunday, July 10, 2022
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Time passes so quickly that I forget to stop and reassess where I want to be. All of those things that I thought about doing so many months ago, but never did, now don’t feel so important or interesting.
Being retired, I don’t have the commitment of work and yet my life is full and busy and for that I am grateful. Now, I am ready for something new.
Time for a Change
I have to be careful when I’m feeling this way as I have a tendency to make radical changes, like moving houses or even leaving the country. I don’t need to go to that extent if I can just find some new ways to revitalize my outlook.
What I have learned is that all change actually happens from within and that is where I need to start. So, I have created a personal challenge that will help me to reset my perspective and allow some fresh ideas to surface.
Be Easy About It
What I am looking for is a gentle shift, not a huge leap. Some way of opening up to some new things without having to throw out the old.
One thing I will do more of is meditate. Spending just 10 minutes a day, sitting quietly is so simple that I forget how much power there is in reconnecting with my spirit.
When I do that, it seems that I feel lighter, and more creative ideas come to me.
Do What You Love
Something that never fails to soothe my soul is to go out in nature. No matter what the weather is, I always love just walking in a park. I go during off hours so I can be alone and just experience the peace.
This year, I started a small vegetable garden. It has been so satisfying to care for the plants and watch them grow. It is a lovely reminder of the cycle of life.
Part of the process for me is to remember to have more fun. I have always been a very serious person so light-hearted fun is pure joy when I can let myself feel it.
Over the years, I have found that I enjoy many things but don’t often incorporate them into my daily life.
Whether it is turning up the music and dancing while I’m cleaning house or cooking some new exotic dish, it doesn’t matter. Just being playful is key to feeling happy.
It is helpful for me to reduce outside interference in order to make sustainable changes.
The big one for me is my phone. I live alone so it is easy for that to be my biggest connection with the outside world, but it has become less of a tool for communicating and more of a time warp of senseless activity. I catch myself scrolling through a flood of information that I don’t want or need in my life.
I remember when a phone was just a phone, not a mini computer.
Television is another intrusion that I allow far too often. I don’t need the constant input of bad news and excessive advertising.
Maximize the Positive
It is easy to go through the day without stopping to think about how I am really feeling. Every day there is an opportunity for me to look for the best things in the world around me.
Something as simple as a friendly check-out clerk at the store or a lovely yellow butterfly on the bush in my yard. Life is as wonderful as we let it be.
Many years ago, Bing Crosby sang “Accentuate the Positive – Eliminate the Negative”, that is my new mantra.
I can’t wait to see what delightful things I will discover on this new journey.
Sunday, June 5, 2022
As I was walking through the parking lot, on my way to get groceries. I smiled at a woman loading her car with hanging baskets of wilted petunias.
Just as I passed her, she called out to me. I turned to see her waving me back toward her.
Not sure what she needed, I walked back over.
Smiling, she said something in Spanish and handed me one of the baskets.
I understood enough that there were no more, and this was for me. She said "water" and then motioned big growth.
Her daughter watched us as we tried to communicate.
It was a moment of pure joy.
Monday, March 14, 2022
What I have realized is that some of what I have been holding onto no longer serves me and it is time to let it go. Just like that closet packed with clothes that I no longer wear; it is time to clear some of the emotional clutter.
Letting go can be difficult but when I look at the benefit it brings, it becomes easier.
It doesn’t happen all at once.
Just like sorting through that closet, I needed to take my time and try some things on. How does it feel? Does it work for who I am and what my life is about today? If so, I will happily keep it – if not, I have to release it.
I like the philosophy of Treasure or Toss in decluttering and it helped to ease some of the emotional discomfort I felt about this process.
One thing I seemed to have accumulated a lot of over the years are unhealthy relationships. Those interactions that, no matter how hard I to try to fix them, they never get better.
What I have discovered is that abuse comes in all shapes and sizes (physical, verbal, emotional, financial, spiritual). Running the gamut from unkind and disrespectful to controlling and manipulative, it all has the same outcome – pain.
Replace what you don’t need with what you do want.
In the beginning, everything felt like a loss. Now, I look at what I have to gain in the process. Once I removed the anxiety and discomfort, I found peace and clarity.
Gently, I began sorting through my feelings. I evaluated each situation carefully and asked myself – does this bring me joy?
The answer isn’t always clear cut, relationships are complicated. But if I am serious about improving my life then I need to prioritize what I give my time and energy to.
Aging clarified what is most important in my life.
After turning 60 I no longer felt like I had forever but, in many ways, it felt like my life was just beginning.
What I didn’t want to do was to waste one moment being unhappy. Life can be short or long, but it is all very precious, and we have to make the most of it.
For me, that means taking the time to appreciate all of the wonderful experiences I have had and letting the rest go.
Clearing what no longer fits feels like creating space for what is yet to come - more joy and satisfaction at this beautiful time in my life.
Did your outlook on life and relationships change after turning 60? What impact has aging had on your relationships? Share your stories and join the conversation.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
As an Irish American, I grew up thinking that I knew certain things about Ireland. Of course, I had always heard how beautiful it was and how friendly the people were, but I was surprised to discover that there are so many things that as Americans we don't really know about Ireland.
To say that the Irish are heavy drinkers, is not a fair reflection of the culture
Having said that, there is a very healthy respect for the black stuff
Taxi drivers are more like professional tour operators