I’ve said many times that my goal is to live my very best life — to be happy, healthy, active and of service. Jokingly, I’ve often added that I want to be the mom who my sons are wondering, “Where is she, and what is she up to now?!”
Last night, I watched a movie I’ve seen at least a dozen times, “Dirty Dancing,” and the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes song, “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life,” triggered some wonderful reflections. As with all of you, so many variables shaped the path that brought me to today. To quote Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” Many experts have shared techniques to help us. Each of their perspectives enhances my understanding. When boiled down and examined from my most personal viewpoint, I offer these simple tips:
1. Focus. Multitasking robs me of the full experience. When I write, I write. When I play the piano, I play the piano. When I hike in the woods, I hike. Whatever it is, I try to do it well and take full pleasure in it.
2. Own whatever you do. Make a decision, act on it, own it and adjust as needed. Don’t be afraid to fail. That is often when I learn the most.
3. Live in the present. An adage from my childhood echoes loudly here: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come. Embrace the present.” Don’t put life on hold “until” or try to change a second of what was.
4. Take joy in the journey. Surround yourself with people, activities and things that add to your happiness. Find ways to let the rest go. Declutter.
5. Appreciate what you have and be thankful for what you don’t have. This is a lesson learned from a dear friend who always faces life’s challenges with happiness and optimism. Don’t waste a second resenting what you think others have.
6. Write down your thoughts. Be curious. Ask questions. Keep learning.
7. Make someone’s day. It truly is through giving that we receive our best gifts. Genuine random acts of kindness enrich the world.
8. Look after your body. It’s the house you live in. Rest, eat well, stay active and enjoy!
9. Quit being your worst critic. Don’t expect perfection. Try new things. Grow.
10. Be prepared to change the plan. Living my best life requires me to be flexible. Life throws curveballs on a regular basis.
In a nutshell: Choose to make each day count. Each of us gets to define what our best life is. It isn’t a competition.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
I Care, Barb