When does it become too late to make an happy new year post? Not yet, I hope.
Happy New Year!
and so the adventure begins…again. Yes, yes it does.
A new year. A clean slate. An empty nest.
Yep. I am officially a mostly empty-nester. 2017, despite its many ups and downs, will always be the year we celebrated my daughter’s high school graduation and transition to college, a victory of epic proportion for all parents who shepherd children through those difficult years. She still comes home, of course. She was here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She'll be back for a week at the end of next month and for the entire summer. But what about these new in-between times? Life used to be full of her. Coming and going. Here and there. This and that. Now she no longer needs me as she once did.
And so the adventure begins …again. But where? And how?
As you can see by the meme, I'm turning 50 this year. Fifty! Fifty freaking years old. I know, I know. Fifty is the new 30 and I’m only as old as I think I am and all that jazz, but man. The last 50 years have flown by. I expect the next 50 will disappear even faster. To honor this auspicious occasion, I’ve decided to challenge myself to write 50 posts over the course of the coming year. 50 for 50. After today only 49 left to go!
Long ago I gave up making resolutions for the new year, preferring instead to focus on setting intentions. Resolutions are brittle, fickle things—designed to punish. They are a wagging of the finger at our naughty self, a demand for penance. Intentions, on the other hand, are about attitude. They are a warm hand resting on our shoulder as we stand at the crossroad, an encouragement for choice. Feel the difference?
I suspect I’ll find this challenge difficult. Impossible even. I expect to suffer over it, and rail against it. I expect to complain, both publicly and privately. I’ll kick myself, I’m sure. (See what I mean about attitude?) But I have an ulterior motive, a reason it’s important to be bold and make this type of demand for myself. I can’t let me off the hook.
My choice for 2018, my gift to myself in the face of this transition, is to focus for the coming year on self-care—the health and wellness “whole package.” I want to figure out what it means for the inside and the outside, and finally learn how to navigate potholes and pitfalls along the way.
Like most women, other peoples’ needs have been atop my to-do list more often than not since I married and started a family. What would life look and feel like, I wondered, if I started every day by asking myself, "What would self-care mean today?" and then heeding the call. My chest feels squishy just thinking about it. I mean, how many of us learned that taking care of ourselves is selfish? Short bursts are okay, like a trip to the spa for a massage and facial, and only when life is plodding along just fine. But when bills have to be paid or or errands need to be run or someone needs to be helped or I’m distracted by, you know, breathing, self-care goes bye-bye as fast as you can say, “Bye-bye.” It’s time for a change.
Chronicling revelations here I hope will entertain and maybe inspire. When saying yes is hard, because it will be hard, I hope to commiserate. And maybe, if I ask often enough and answer often enough and write often enough, one of these days my attitude and my intention will meet at that crossroad and decide to wander together down the same path.
"You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey." –Esther Hicks