Looking Ahead



Events of the past couple weeks – some joyful, some tragic – have served to open up large blocks of time in my life. Now, with the last of my visiting family and friends waved off on the ferry boat to get back to their own lives, and with my birthday just around the corner, it’s time to start looking ahead.

My birthday competes with the New Year as a time to assess accomplishments and failures (including failed New Year’s resolutions!), and to resolve to do better. Saying good-bye to my Aunt Katie, whose long life was an inspiration and an outstanding example of living well, has directed my thought process. In setting my goals for the next year, I look to joy.

Rather than lay down plans and aspirations as if they are chores to be dutifully completed, I want to keep my eye on happiness. The list may look the same. To be better organized, healthier in habit and weight, to grow my food, take care of my dogs, expand my knowledge and spend quality time making art are constant self-improvement goals. It is the strategy that I am changing.

Rather than look forward to the time when I will be happier because I am better organized…or slimmer…or more on top of other duties and obligations, I intend to find joy in the process. Instead of keeping my eye on the “finish line,” and my distance from it determining my success or failure, I want to enjoy this walk through life, every step of it. I want to (even!!!) take note of flowers along the way. Maybe it will feel the same. Right now, looking ahead, it seems like just the attitude-shift I need.


About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

6 responses »

  1. Sounds like a good plan. I do believe that living and appreciating each moment does add joy to life – though it’s sometimes hard to break the habit of spending too much time focusing on the future or the past. Happy upcoming birthday!

    • Thank you, Sherry! You’re right, it’s hard, but every death makes me reevaluate the way I live, and energizes my determination to learn to live in and appreciate the present moment. It’s a constant struggle, but worth it.

  2. Hooray for attitude adjustments! Same duties/chores/activities but a different frame of mind when approaching them. Just today I accomplished a lot in my house that’s been ignored for a while, and while I was doing those things I just kept saying to myself, “this is what I’m doing now and it’s a really good thing.” I have the problem of thinking of other things I could be doing instead of what I’m actually doing – concentrate on the task at hand and it will get done before you know it.

    The cool thing about us August birthdays is we can use our birthdays as a mid-year re-up on the New Year’s thing. I do the same thing!. Mid year, it’s perfect. I feel sorry for people with birthdays in February!

    I hope your family gathering was inspiring. Once again I’m sorry for the passing of the lovely Aunt Katie. Perhaps her spirit will encourage you to be all you’re capable of!

    • Yes, that’s what I’m aiming for, just a simple acknowledgement and appreciation of the present moment. I agree about August birthdays…just in time for a re-start before fall. It was wonderful having my family all here. In every loss, no matter how tragic, it seems there are blessings, too. Thanks, Sara!

  3. I hope to emulate you on your new perspective. Thank you for sharing this idea that I might be able to put to use. It’s hard to get out of the list process…

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