Entering day 6 of the new year, I am am still feeling the new year’s vibe of change. While contemplating my life going forward, I find myself reviewing my life and regretting some things and wishing for different outcomes, while accepting other things as is.
Now this kind of thing can literally drive you crazy if you let it. For the one thing we cannot do is go back and change the past. But rather, we find ourselves living with the results and moving forward with more intentional plans, desires and outcomes.
But it boils down to really two questions we need to ask ourselves at the end of the day. At the end of today, will I look back and ask myself “Are there things I wish I had done differently or intentionally? Or, are there things I am glad I did?” Those are the measures I will use for intentional living.
When I speak of intentional living I am talking about a life where you make the choices you can. I know, so often we are in positions where others have that power over us to a certain degree (bosses, spouses, rules, laws, etc) What I am speaking of are opportunities you can take within your power. For instance looking back on yesterday, I could have said to myself “I wish I had gone to the gym and did those 30 minutes on the treadmill”. But instead, I can say, “I am so glad I took the time to fit in 30 minutes at the gym.” For me, that is intentional living!
Being retired and smiling is a beautiful feeling. But don’t let me kid you, I am not smiling all the time. LOL! For being retired gives you time to think….almost too much at times. I think about things like, “I wish I had paid off more bills or saved more for retirement so I could travel more.” Or, “Sometimes it gets a bit lonely when you want to hang out and a lot of your friends still work or live far away.” Or even the brutal reality of saying to myself “Yikes! This is my fixed income for the rest of my life?” Lately I have had some health concerns pop up and I am running back and forth to the doctor for a battery of tests to rule things out. And that in itself is sobering when you think of longevity and quality of life. It is a reminder of your mortality and even your morbidity.
All of these things are things that could take away my smile, but I refuse to give them that power over me. For you see, I want to focus at the end of the day on “What are some things I am glad I did today?” And these do not need to be a long list of big things, but rather, “Did I make a tiny difference in someone’s day by smiling at them or holding the door for them?” “What did I do today that made me happy or someone around me? “ “How glad am I that I did not buy that donut in that moment of weakness or yell at that driver who just cut me off?” Tiny things, intentional things, happy things…..all of these coming out of a positive attitude and a choice on my part.
Intentionally engaging in life in my moment, in my way, is my goal. And when I ask my self at the end of the day how it was, will I say “Today is a day I wish I had…..” Or will it be a day where I say “Today is a day I am glad I did…….” It is my choice. Make it yours! And make it a good one for you!