It’s hard to believe we’re already into the second month of the year 2019. I have to pay attention when I write the date because I’m still in the habit of writing 2018. To be perfectly honest, when I write a check, sometimes I write the date and start with 19… It’s a “senior moment” kind of thing.
Although I didn’t write down New Year’s resolutions, I spent time being introspective and reflective. I’d like to share these thoughts and intentions with you.
I am meeting the new year with specific intentions. One of my goals is to be as loving and kind to myself as I am to others. This morning, when I was ready for breakfast, I asked what would I really enjoy? I sautéed some onions and scrambled some eggs. Then I added cheese and a pinch of salt. Instead of driving to Starbucks, I made a mocha latte in my own kitchen.
Another intention is to be more mindful of the Biblical prohibition against gossip. I’m not often judgmental about others, but I tell the truth as I see it, even when my descriptions about others paint them in an unfavorable light. Words are extremely powerful. Often damaging. This year I want to refrain from talking about others in a way that creates prejudice against them. I can’t help but see life as it is, and people as they are. Instead of indulging in gossip, I intend to share my thoughts and perceptions in the words I write, not the words I speak.
2019 promises to be a good year. My son Jed is marrying Suz, a woman who has added a lot of joy to my son’s life. I welcome Suz as my daughter-in-law. Her kindness and compassion are remarkable. She has an elegant, yet down-to-earth way about her that makes spending time together comfortable and fun. Right around the time that Jed and Suz say their “I dos,” a new Appelrouth baby is expected in Toronto. I look forward to another grandchild and hope I’ll have the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with the baby, and also with the older siblings, all who have their own special place in my heart.
I expect to make some meaningful changes this year. I will probably downsize. It doesn’t make sense for me to remain in my large, beautiful home. It won’t be easy moving from the home Dan and I built together, but it’s hard to justify remaining in a house more suited to a large family, not a woman who lives alone.
I recently discovered a 30-foot extension ladder leaning on the back of my house. It didn’t belong to me. I had not hired anyone who needed access to my second floor from outside. I called my neighbors, to see if maybe one of them had recently had workers who came to my home by mistake. When I called the police, the officer admitted it was a “suspicious activity” and wrote that on the report he filed. It triggered feelings of vulnerability. I began leaving my alarm on night and day.
We never know what will happen to us or the people we love. Life is a series of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. I plan to express more appreciation for the people I value. I’ve resumed keeping a gratitude journal. Time is precious. We never know how much time we have left. I’m going to work on not wasting so much time. When I suffered from vertigo last winter, and a virus last month, I got into the habit of binging on movies and television series on Netflix and Prime Video. While it’s an enjoyable way to pass time, it’s not productive.
I still have many things on my to-do list. I hope to procrastinate less and take more action. aI want to keep posting on social media, keep writing this “According to Arlene.” Maybe even finish the memoir I’ve started and always procrastinated about. My life is full with many roles and many responsibilities. I like being Arlene, the writer/reporter. It’s satisfying knowing my words are heard (read) and I’m understood and seen as I am. Every day offers another opportunity to be true to yourself and make a difference in the world. May you fill your world with who and what you love. Avoid toxic situations. Life is ours to create. May all of us make the best choices.