Right now, are you happy with your life as it is?
This last week in the year allows for reflection about how you have progressed in the past 12 months. To look at those resolutions and goals you made as 2019 came to an end and determine if you accomplished what you wanted to in 2020.
- Did you lose that weight?
- Did you start exercising like you promised yourself?
- Did you focus on your own personal mental and emotional health?
- Did you get back to reading books for enjoyment?
- Did you explore the world around you?
- Did you switch careers or go back to school to train for a different career?
Not happy with your life?
How are you going to change that?
Yes, I know that 2020 has been a difficult year. In fact, it was a weird year. Paranoia over a virus that entered our lives, a virus that scientists learned new things about each and every day found us wearing masks and only venturing outside the four wall of our homes when it was absolutely necessary.
But did the restrictions force you to focus on where you are with your life?
What we found in reflection?
I’ve been looking at my life and wondering what I have accomplished in 2020.
Yes, I admit it. I have to admit it in order to move forward with life. I’ve gotten depressed because I can’t meet with the various groups that I belonged to. I’ve slacked off with my writing and my musical practice because, well, my motivation to do much of anything became undisciplined. I’ve gotten out of shape because I couldn’t go to the gym, and then I was leery of going to the gym because I didn’t want to bring germs home to hubby (and he was my workout buddy), but finally, when we ordered the elliptical felt forced to wait to exercise until it was here. (NOTE: It is usable, but needs initial maintenance that needs a technician.) But the worst is that I have been sucked into the games on my phone for HOURS.
As a person who is considered high-risk because of a lowered immune system, my husband became restless. Even going to the shop and turning a project seemed pointless. He realized that the idea of medically forced retirement did not give him the freedom he needed; in fact, it did the opposite: It left him feeling like he had no identity. He was a truck and delivery driver, he was a carpenter, and he was a computer tech. But losing the sight in one eye and needing dialysis three times a week grounded him from the careers that gave him identity. In addition, even when he gets a kidney transplant, those careers require good visual depth perception – something that sight in only one eye won’t give you.
My conversation with my brain.
I sat at the table with my coffee Sunday morning and thought about where my creative life has been going. Hint: It went nowhere in the second half of 2020. Just as most of us have been stuck at home for most of 2020, my writing has been stuck in neutral for, well, for a while; my music has been spinning in circles; and my other creative outlets have been sitting stagnant.
My mind sometimes challenges me. “Who do you think you’re fooling? A novelist with a first work coming out in her 60’s? A blogger who can’t post consistently? A musician who has nowhere to play. Come on.”
“Many people begin as writers in the second half of their lives,” I argue. “I can post consistently. I need to practice so that I am able to at least play for First Fridays in April.”
“What makes you think in 2021 you’ll be more consistent for the readers of your blog?”
I sit up straight and defiant. “I am back to writing lists and making plans. I’m not going to fly by the seat of my pants anymore. I’ve deleted the time wasters on my phone. I want to help people be the best person that they can be.”
“Maybe. But a breakout novel at the age of 63?” my mind challenges.
“James A. Michener didn’t publish his first novel until his 40’s, AND he was a teacher first.” I sat back with a feeling of triumph against my own mind.
“You’ll turn 63 in 2021,” the brain argues.
“So?” I look at my research once again. (Check out the article I used.) “Well, Frank McCourt won a Pulitzer Prize for Angela’s Ashes. He didn’t publish that until he was 66.”
“Maybe I should look into taking some fiddlin’ lessons? It would give me a reason to practice and improve during the first quarter of the year.
How are we going to change?
In late November, I renamed this blog, I bought new notebooks, and I began to work on plans for 2021. I am not too old to share with you my ideas and perspectives about life. I am not too old to write a breakout novel. And, as I learned in August, I am not too old to zip-line.
In defiance of the disadvantages that life has handed him, hubby enrolled in college the week before Christmas. He is now studying for a career in cyber security and information assurance. His identity is now, in his mid-50’s, that of a student.
You might be one to say that going back to college in your fifties is a ridiculous idea. Even hubby asked me if I thought he was crazy for thinking about going back to school. To prove my point that it wasn’t crazy, I pointed out that my life sister got her bachelors and masters after she turned 60, and she told us that the oldest graduate that the college had had was 80+ years old.
You are NEVER too old to pursue what you are interested in.
(That said, there are some activities that you might be out of shape to get involved in. Think learning how to do gymnastics after the age of 50 if you are sedentary individual.)