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Reflect on role in new season

Reflect on role in new season Reflect on role in new season

We often associate the New Year with the opportunity for “new starts” in our lives but, wait a minute, what about the early days of summer?

Everywhere I look, I see signs of change in nature and in man’s activities. Kids are graduating from schools and advancing to real incomes, summer sports schedules are posted and vacations activities are on the horizon. Gardens that sat barren during the winter months are being reactivated with new plantings, and winter garments are now only a burden as we pull out our warm-weather clothes. All winter our outdoor porch area was filled with empty pots from last year’s flower garden and now must be cleared and cleaned for this summer’s sitting and entertaining. We’ve been restricted in our activities during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This June, normal activities with friends and in crowds are still in question as we try to figure out when it is safe to re-enter the world.

How shall we meet these demands for changes? We could just throw up our hands and in exasperation, down size and eliminate activities.

Another choice is hiring help to assist us if we have the cash and the manpower available. Or, we might forge ahead with optimism that it will all work out as it has in the past. And, there is too the option that, if we stall long enough, it will soon be autumn and we can just coast into the next winter conditions.

I feel I am constantly being bombarded with messages by public media or personal friends that “down sizing” — stopping activities or getting rid of stuff — would solve all my woes.

Recently, I was feeling “done in” and thought a nap would be a necessity to get me going again. Instead, I had on my calendar back-to-back visits from old friends. I asked myself several times while cleaning the house “what were you thinking, old gal, when you added these guests to your agenda?”

I was delighted to find that, after my company left, I seemed to be revitalized by the stimulating conversation and exciting new ideas they brought to me. No longer was I absorbed with the muscle that had earlier hurt in my back or the knee that acts up when I bend. Most of all, my brain and spirits seemed to be thriving on new “go power.”

We each have our own comfort zones, conditions that inspire us into action or calm our nerves at best. It takes a lot of self confidence and courage to follow a different path than your friends or loved ones.

During one friend’s visit, we discussed that she is an introvert and I am an extrovert. We find our energy buttons in different places. No wonder my friend wants a home that is uniform and simplified, while I delight in dwelling amid a crowded display of stuff from all over the world.

At this season of conversion to new activities and lifestyles, stop and listen to the voices within you. What fits your body, mind and heart? Do you just want to sit at the side of the pool during the hot months or do you find delight in sweating it out tending a vegetable garden? Society — a gathered community — needs all the different interests, talents and lifestyles available to fulfill its potential. Make no apologies for what flips your switch and don’t judge others by your interests and standards.

My husband, Don, and I are, by anyone’s standards, “old.” We will have to make some major adjustments to our past ways of living. But “by gum,” I hope we both hang on to the essence of what uses our best talents and gives us the gusto for life. We may not follow the guidelines prescribed by AARP, but let’s hope, without inconveniencing those who try to help us, we can maintain our unique and individual characters.

Yes, change is definitely in the works for our whole planet. Everything from the way we live within our natural environment to the manner in which we interact with our colleges and adversaries. Social norms, technological advances and international relations are stirring the pot. This is the time, and conditions demand that we take action. We best not withdraw and let the world roll over us.

Let’s look in the mirror, reflect on our inner thoughts and outward actions and decide what part we will play in the bright new future that lies ahead.