Friday, August 17, 2012

Warning or example: Which will you be?

My sister always tells me if we can't be an example to others, we'll be a warning! I think it's true, and I've repeated it many times. Many things have served as warnings in my life. And, sad to say, perhaps I've also served as a warning to others from time to time, too.

Many years ago I saw way too many mid-life or older women who were miserably unhappy. Perhaps they were living with regrets rather than gratitude. It could be that they made choices they didn't feel free to undo later. Whatever the reason, I told myself I would do everything possible so I didn't end up like that. I really didn't want to be a bitter, old woman.

Sure, I've had my share of regrets. I've had tough times. Sad times. I've made choices I wish I hadn't. But I realize now that I have begun to live into that state for which I so longed: a place of serenity and contentment.

Does this mean every waking moment is joy-filled? No. Does it mean that I never get sad, angry or down about things? No.

What it means, for me anyway, is that I do the best I can, make the best choices I'm able to make, and try to be OK about living with the results. If I need to tweak something or change a decision and it is reversible, I can do that. I remind myself, if not daily, at least several times a week how many things I have for which I am grateful (I keep a Gratitude Journal to help with that attitude). I try to focus on the positive rather than the negative side of things (and I'd done plenty of complaining in prior years, especially about workplace issues!). More often now, I consider the Serenity Prayer.

Are you aging gracefully? Do you need an attitude change right now? It's never too late.

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