List the elements of your life where you feel challenged in a positive way:
[This is a perfect time for this list! It’s my birthday week, and I am just back (not quite home yet) from a wonderful birthday trip, to Chicago with my daughter, Kate, and her family. I am assessing all the usual signs of aging, plus taking note of accomplishments and goals. I am warmed by time spent with family, amazed by the bright wisdom and kindness of my grandchildren, and awed by my daughter’s determination, bravery, common sense and ability. I feel inspired and changed by my experiences, as I look toward my goals for the next year of my life.]
- We did quite a bit of walking over the last several days. Chicago is a good city for walking, and the weather was perfect for it. It was fun, at the end of the day, to ask Kate how we did. She’d tell me the distance in miles, and also how many steps we’d taken and flights of stairs we’d climbed. I was pleased to be able to keep up with the young people. I’m determined to reincorporate daily walking into my life.
- If anything has slowed me down in life, it is a lack of courage. I almost always stay close to my comfort zone. Listening to my daughter and her family discuss big changes, I realize how much I’ve chosen to play it safe, despite the cost. I am sixty-six years old, with only a fraction of my life still ahead of me. It’s time to stop letting fear dictate my direction. Time to be brave!
- Having wandered, enthralled, through three wonderful museums, I feel challenged to get into the studio and be guided by all the fresh inspiration!
- Seeing my daughter, who works very hard to be able to have the life experiences she enjoys, put out the effort and never lose sight of the big picture, I am encouraged to expand my boundaries, too.
- I read every day. Sometimes, though, it’s a challenge to commit to good books that expand my view of literature and the world. This year, I selected five books for summer reading that seemed able to do that. Four were authors I had not read before. Of those, two are authors I will now seek out.
- I write every day. The challenge is to not simply devolve into mindless drivel.
- Everyday, I feed myself. I aim for meals that enrich me, beyond just physical sustenance. I think about flavors, colors and textures. The preparation. The arrangement of food on the plate. The experience as a whole.
- I challenge myself, always, to be nice: to find an honest complement to give; to put a positive spin on something; to say the kind thing. Sometimes it’s easy; sometimes not. It’s always worth it.