Do Good, Feel Good
Well, it’s that time of year again – a couple of days before the old year ends and the new one begins. It’s generally a time of reflection – a time to ask (as John Lennon so poignantly did) “And what have you done?” as well as to make a ‘start fresh’ and plans and promises for the next twelve months.
I’ve never been one to make a lengthy list of New Year’s Resolutions (or ‘Revolutions’ as my youngest son would say) but I generally go into each new year with the understanding that I should at least TRY to ‘do better’ than I did the previous year. 2012 wasn’t the greatest of years for me – my mother passed away in January; my cat (Sally) died a month later; I spent most of the spring and early summer locked in a frustrating and seemingly endless battle with City engineers over the storm water runoff (caused by a recent road ‘resurfacing’) that flooded my driveway, garden and backyard; I ‘broke up’ with my longtime contractor; and in attempting to reconcile with my oldest sister, I ended up alienating several other members of my family (who, rumor has it, thought I should have let her continue spreading nasty lies about me rather than trying to clear the air – and, yeah, I should have known better – you can’t change sociopathic behaviour by telling the truth and using logic).
On the ‘up’ side, I had quite a few beach and hammock days during the summer (July and August were hot, hot, hot) during which I read a good number of the books in my library; I FINALLY got my front hall renovated, the ‘feature wall’ at the top of the stairs and the brick around the living room fireplace painted, and a mantle installed above it; I adopted two wonderful kittens (Claire and Sylvia) in November; and I managed to drop 10 pounds in the last 10 weeks of the year.
I suppose, in hindsight, the second half of the year ‘almost’ made up for the first half and I DID get some of the things I’d hope to accomplish, accomplished. Still, there is always room for improvement. So for 2013, I’ve decided to adopt a new ‘personal mission statement’ (motto, slogan, maxim, adage, mantra – whatever you want to call it): “Do Good, Feel Good”. These four little words will represent my philosophy for living in the upcoming year because they can apply to pretty much every aspect of my life.
For example, if I think ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ when I’m planning my grocery shopping and menu planning, I’ll buy healthier foods and prepare healthier meals. By repeating ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ when I pull on my track pants each morning, I can persuade myself to push a little harder or go a little longer (or try something new) while exercising. ‘Do Good, Feel Good’ can help with my writing projects too (the more I write, the better I feel – I just have to keep reminding myself of that fact). When I ‘Do Good’ for others (family, friends, strangers), it always makes me ‘Feel Good’ – so by repeating my ‘mantra’, I’ll remember to express my appreciation to others more often, give a little more to those in need, and perform a few additional ‘random acts of kindness’ each month. And if I ‘Do Good’ for myself (no negative self-talk, focus on the positive, be grateful EVERY DAY for my health, my husband, my home, my kids, my cats), I’ll ‘Feel Good’ through and through. And when I ‘Feel Good’, I’m much more likely to ‘Do Good’, so the cycle repeats back on itself. It’s ‘win win’ all the way around!
Thirteen has always been one of my lucky numbers; I’m confident that if I ‘Do Good, Feel Good’, 2013 can be one of the best years yet. I wish the same for you and yours. Best wishes for the New Year from … the other side of 55.