It’s that time of the year…again. The ever occurring and overly anticipated new year’s resolution. Whether you think it’s dubious or necessary, it’s hard to avoid the question from friends and family about what your new year’s resolution will be. I think the best thing we can do is reframe what we think of the new year’s resolution tradition by understanding it to be a time of reflection and motivation for what lies ahead. We make and break habits all year round, so why does this one have to be an end-all be-all of what our year will look like?
Throughout our lifetime our interests fluctuate just as much as our weight; our capacity to give our time and energy to others will ebb and flow; the only thing we know is certain is uncertainty itself. This is not the time to wallow, although sometimes it feels like our only option when we are flooded with old memories of what the holidays used to mean, this is the time to look back with fondness for our year, and that we lived another year, and got to experience joy, pain, sadness, excitement, love, curiosity, and comfort in community. Yes, the holidays can be hard for many of us. As we age and remember what our childhood traditions and what raising our families felt or looked like during the holidays. But it’s also so important to acknowledge that we can cherish new traditions and appreciations for the life we live today. Aging is the very proof of living, and is that not the most magnificent thing to celebrate?
We’ve had a few residents recently move into Givens Gerber Park- a move during the holiday- (gasp!)- is there a more stress-inducing combination? But what we’ve witnessed from them is an overflowing cup of joy and gratitude to land home for the holidays. That our new residents feel safe, among friendly neighbors, and can build new traditions in the community. It takes time to settle into a new space, but luckily, residents befriend one another quickly– there seems to be some overnight magic in the works to make that happen. Sitting with new folks at the café, joining in for a game of cards in the afternoon, drinking coffee near the fireplace- small gestures that lead to companionship and often a needed routine.
What are some simple ways we can greet the new year while also being kind to ourselves and generous to others? Fostering companionship, building routines, and doing new things keep our minds sharp and bodies active, all which contribute positively to our health and happiness. How about this: try something from this list and take time in the new year to reflect on it.
1. Read a new book every month (…and start a book club?!)
2. Exercise for 10 minutes each day
3. Create a budget
4. Eat healthier food first
5. Drink more water
6. Write letters to family/ friends you don’t see often
7. Make decisions with confidence
8. Create a daily routine
9. Meet someone new in the community
10. Attend a program you haven’t before
Whether you dread it or enjoy it- the new year is approaching, and we want our residents and the greater to community to look at what’s to come with hope and optimism, guided by love and compassion, and grounded in knowing that life is a silly, sweet gift that we often, if we’re lucky, get to dance and laugh our way through. And remember, these are things you can come back to and try anytime throughout the year.