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Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden. Unknown

Today is the real start of the year for many. We are back to real life. Back to work, back to school, back to the gym, back to whatever pursuits we laid aside.

Tonight will be my first gym night of 2019. I watched a PBS special on the importance of stretching, how our connective tissue is the key to aging well. I am grateful for the sun salutations I do each morning. The full body stretch does make me feel good. It isn’t a thirty-minute session like they suggest, but bringing movement, stretching, walking, and any kind of exercise into our life benefits us.

This past summer my daughter and I were in the park up the street on a Saturday morning. We saw a group of people practicing Tai Chi in the park, these were not young people. Watching them gracefully do the movements led by an older man was inspiring.

One of my Toastmaster buddies whose father succumbed to a long cancer battle led exercise groups like this. He led a full and active life even with cancer. We need to not let the things we can’t do stand in the way of the things we can.

When we look around inspiring stories are everywhere. My mom has a routine she does in the morning before she gets out of bed. Her routine keeps her flexible, pain-free, and active. She is the example of ninety-four I want to follow.

Aging isn’t optional, living well is where we get to make our decision. What does living well, and aging well look like to us? What does success look like to us? What does a happy marriage look like to us? What do successful and productive happy children look like to us? What does making our corner of the world better, look like to us?

Your success and happiness lie in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller

Each year’s regrets are envelopes in which messages of hope are found for the New Year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

What challenges are we facing, what can we actually do something about to improve our, or someone else’s circumstances? What is the change we’d like to see in the world? What would be the unintended consequences of that change?

On the weekend I found a journal I’ve kept since 1993, I’ve written in it every few years. It was a glimpse of my life over 26 years. When I started the journal my big challenge was getting the kids to bed by 8-8:30. It was interesting to read what thoughts made it into the journal. We can look back over our lives, but we can’t think what we were thinking when we were experiencing what we are remembering, because we can only see things through our viewpoint now. When we read what we wrote decades ago, we see through the lenses we were living.

If someone was to write a memoir from memory or from journals they kept it would be two completely different viewpoints. In my opinion, the journal is accurate and memory is not. We can’t discern the difference between whom we were and who we are now. We think we’ve always been who we are. We think viewpoints we have, we’ve always had – the good ones anyway.

Writing down our thoughts lets us look at them in a way only thinking about them, can’t accomplish. When Mom was out to visit her oldest sister for the last time, Mom’s niece brought out letters Mom had written to her sister. They were letters about little things, how their Mother gave Mom a dollar to buy a gift. This letter was written before 1953 when Grandma died.

If we are cleaning out our clutter and a box of letters is part of it. We might want to think before chucking them. We can’t keep everything but I would love to go through the journals my grandmother kept. Unfortunately, the squirrels got to them while they were in storage.

Today is our day, this is our year. How can we make the best of it?

New Years is all about getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about “what if” and start embracing what would be. Unknown

Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it! Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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