Don’t Retire, ReFire: Entering the last quarter of a crazy year!

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

I think we can all agree that it has been a strange and unusual year and dawn of a new decade.

The question on our minds is, are all these extreme events the birth of good change or the continuation of more unsettledness of what’s to come?

In many ways the year has flown, yet at the same time, I describe the months as moving in slow motion.

Whether the year is going fast or slow for you, I think we can all agree that this last quarter of the year will be action-packed, however your interpretation of that is.

The world is hurting right now. People are hurting. Instead of hurting, we need to be healing. Healing the world hinges on putting things back together, rather than pulling things apart. Sometimes the pulling apart is necessary before the putting back together can happen. I’m ready for the putting back together.

Honestly, the longer I live, the more I recognize that we are all children in adult bodies, playing in the sandbox of life. In that sandbox we have those with the selfish, “Mine”, attitude, we have the bullies and we have those who just want to get along and enjoy life. It has never been more evident, during this year of a pandemic, unemployment, police brutality, citizen brutality, riots and cries for equality, how childish we all are. Being a peacemaker, myself, I find it hard to understand why we can’t unify and belong rather than separate and own. That might be considered naïve by some. Maybe so, but my head is not in the sand and I’m acutely aware of the reality that is.

I live my life, not by division, but, instead, by acceptance and inclusion. Instead, I focus on the well-being of human lives, starting with my family and friends and then to the world I live in.

As I ruminate on the next three months and how I’m going to successfully move through it, I have created reminders to stay on track and keep myself focused and centered on what’s important. I’m sharing in hopes that some or all may be a source of strength and centeredness for you as well.

  1. Stay informed but don’t let the news and the opinion of others throw you off. Social Media has its place and can be informative but can also stretch and bend the truth. Know your mind.
  2. Stay healthy. Eat right. Get enough sleep. Move every day, several times a day, to keep the blood pumping and the air flowing strongly throughout your body. When you’re healthy, it’s easier to withstand obstacles and difficulties.
  3. Find joy and gratitude every day. There are days when finding joy and being grateful seem like a tall order. On days when I’m having a hard time, I look over at my cat, who brings me so much joy and for whom I am so grateful that she came into my life. I think of my three grandchildren for whom I’d go to the ends of the earth for. I think of my health that I do not take for granted. That and more give me joy and gratitude. Some days the joy and gratitude are overflowing and on other days it’s a search for a speck of it. We all have both kinds of days. The last thing any of us need to do is beat ourselves up if we’re not feeling our best on any given day. If you can get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other you’re off to a good start.
  4. Extend a good deed. It doesn’t have to be monumental. It’s the little deeds that can have the larger effect on society. For example, do you know someone who lives alone and doesn’t have family and friends nearby? Give them a call. Stop by and drop off a magazine or a book or a basket of fruit or with just yourself. The impact you will have on that person’s life is, indeed, monumental! See what I’m saying? Get the picture?

Together we can create a tsunami of good will! Now THAT would be a great way to end the year!

So shines a good deed in a weary world. – Willy Wonka

Start now. Be a beacon of light in a world that is in desperate need of kindness, love, acceptance and generosity of heart.

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