The trip of a lifetime

I’ve written about this before, but as I look back on 2015 and ahead to 2016 it feels appropriate to write about it again – if for no other reason than to remind myself.

As we celebrate the New Year, some of us will commit to doing things differently in the coming 12 months. Many will plan to exercise more, to eat more healthily, or to drink less alcohol. The more disciplined we are, the longer our commitment will last but it’s easy to become swept away by euphoria and to over-commit; or worse, to lose sight of what is really important.

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Image credit: http://www.endingthegrind.com/

Before rushing to add “join the gym; eat less chocolate; drink less wine” to our list of resolutions, I would recommend reading this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (aged 85). More about its background here.

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If I Had My Life to Live Over Again

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

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Let’s not spend too much time thinking about the chocolate or the ice-cream. This is the trip of a lifetime, so it’s probably best to focus less on the little things, and more on the big things.

When preparing your New Year’s resolutions, I urge you to:

  • avoid “little” words like chocolate, wine, gym, work and exercise
  • include “big” words like friends, happiness, mistakes, satisfaction, growth, moments and life

The big resolutions are probably easier to keep; they’re probably more important; and they’re likely to be better for us in the long run.

Happy 2016!

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Image credit: http://www.abouttimemagazine.co.uk/

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