Over My Shoulder: Ready or not, here comes a New Year!

by Ann Robson

The ball has been dropped.  The champagne has lost its fizz.  The house is a mess. The black-eyed peas and collard greens have been devoured.

There’s a new year and new decade knocking at your door.

Now what?  

Resolutions? What are you going to do now that another year has slipped away?  It’s customary to look back at what was great or good or middling last year and plan to make things better or different or the same. There’s a new buzzword for planning your life: intentionally

At first I found this relatively new concept a bit confusing as it implied that we have been living life randomly. We moved from age to age coping with whatever came our way while hoping we were doing things right. This new idea of ‘intentionally’ suggests living life in a simple, more organized fashion, not letting circumstances control us but controlling them instead.

Unknowing what we were doing, many of us of a certain age likely have lived intentionally. Most of us have a plan of some sort to get us from here to there. We don’t all take the same route but may have the same destination in mind. Having a backup plan or two (or even three or four) has been part of life. I’ve long believed the saying “Man proposes, God disposes”. I have no idea where that bit of knowledge originated but have found it to be profoundly accurate. As much as we plan ahead there’s always the unknown – an accident, an illness, a fatality — that might surprise us.

Living with intentional purpose is something most of us aspire to, whether we have ever used those words. Perhaps this is the year to take a good look at how we live from hour to hour, day to day, month to month, year to year. If we can identify what makes us happy — not the passing happiness of one or two events but that which makes us happy at our very core, then we should concentrate on doing more of that and less of that which causes stress and less than happy feelings.

Realistically, sometimes we just can’t get rid of bothersome things in our lives. That’s where ‘intentionally’ comes in. Only you can determine how to have your best life. Your best life and mine will not look alike. What I consider a top priority may be way down on your list, and vice-versa.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” according to Albert Einstein. For your planning for this coming year, and beyond, this is a good guideline.  Think of all you can do to be happy and to make others happy. It’s still the little things that count. Your resolutions can be as small or as large as you want. Be realistic: we can’t change the world at large or even our world overnight but baby steps lead to bigger steps then to running.

Embrace 2020 as a milestone in your best life. 

Ann Robson is the author of “Over My Shoulder: Tales of Life and Death and Everything In Between.” She may be reached at overmyshoulder@charter.net .