This time of year, I like to reflect on my life. I think about my good fortune and share some of it with others through our donations. I think about what I’d like to add to or subtract from my life. And though I don’t like to make resolutions, I do like to make plans.
Because we only get this one beautiful life and I don’t want to waste it. Some of us will get many years and some of us will get far too few. But no matter the number of years we receive in this, our one beautiful life, we all want to thrive.
Thriving for me probably won’t look like thriving for you–we’ll each have our own definition or vision of what thriving looks like.
I have several visions that help define thrive for me.
Thriving are my new old friends on the Pickleball court. People pushing 80 kicking this 53 year old gal’s butt. Laughing, active, engaged, fierce, fun.
Thriving are my fake parents, tending their gardens, their family (including their family of fakes!) and their community to help them all prosper. Quick with a smile or to share a laugh, quicker yet to shrug off a setback. Laughing, active, generous, engaged, fun.
Thriving are my former colleagues, stepping up for that next opportunity, growing their families, figuring out their balance between living for now and living for later. Hard working, smart, active, engaged, learning, fun.
I’m surrounded by people I want to be like when I grow up.
And if I want to thrive, I need to look at what is holding me back. What needs to be added or subtracted from my life so I have the best chance to achieve that vision?
I’ll start with the additions because they are easier.
I want to grow my tribe. Some people grow their tribes quite easily, I do not. It is hard for me to put myself out there. Though I’m sure my friends sometimes wish I’d shut up, to strangers, I’m an introvert. So I’ve been reaching out to folks between games on the Pickleball court and getting to know a few. If they don’t like me–who cares, that’s their loss right? Engaged is in my definition of thrive.
I want to grow the readership of this blog so I can help more people. It will require that I delve into some technical and social media stuff that I’ve largely ignored. I like to work on things I can master. I’ll never master the blogging thing–it’s a lot to learn and always changing. Learning is in my definition of thrive.
Now the tough stuff–the subtractions.
I want to be less judgmental. I’m too much like my Grandmother–few people suited her. My Grandfather could do nothing right, until he was dead . . . then you would have thought he was a saint. This trait makes for a very lonely life. Lonely is not in my definition of thrive.
At times, I drink too much. Too much is when it affects my ability to do the things I enjoy or hurts my relationships. A couple beers every now and then is enough for me. More than two or more than every now and then isn’t necessary. Drunk is not in my definition of thrive.
Sometimes I eat too much. I exercise a lot and I’m fortunate to be blessed with a pretty good metabolism so I’m carrying around fewer pounds than I deserve. That second piece of carrot cake isn’t necessary and it will be there tomorrow . . . hopefully. Overweight and unhealthy is not in my definition of thrive.
OK, two additions and three subtractions. These are manageable for me.
Now it’s your turn. What does thriving look like to you? What is in your definition of thrive? What do you hope to do with your one, beautiful life?
Photo credit: Ms. Liz visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ with my Mom