As I take a short break from the stresses of the holiday season, I'm sharing a Golden Oldie, updated from way back in December 1990. Although I penned the words over 20 years ago, the message is ever-green.
Transitions can be as simple as stepping from one stone to another along a pathway or as complex as going from pregnancy to parenthood.
This week, you and I are marking another in a lifetime of transitions. We're stepping from 2013 into 2014.
Whether the old year was one of your best or among the worst, it's now behind us. Today we have a brand new supply of days on which to write the next chapter of our lives. The realization is both exciting and intimidating.
Where will we be at this time next year? No matter what we do, we won't be in exactly the same place we are today. In this fast-moving world, even those who stand still are swept up in the current.
Life, after all, is best lived by active participation. The folks I know who get the most out of every day are those who don't just let life happen. They go out and meet it.
These in-love-with-life people all seem to have one quality in common. No matter what their age, they continue to widen their horizons.
That can mean anything from learning the fine points of water skiing to taking up oil painting. It can include the study of a foreign language or lessons on the guitar. In short, it means adding a new dimension to life. Then, like the diamond with many facets, life itself takes on a new sparkle.
I, too, try to add something new each year. Either I develop a new area of interest or learn more about an old one.
Unfortunately, it's all too easy to get so busy with the day-to-day "have-tos" of life that I don't get around to the "want tos." But I keep trying, inspired by those who are always growing.
For instance, I have one elderly friend who has decided it's time to take the piano lessons she's yearned for since childhood. Another energetic couple is already lining up Elder Hostel opportunities for the New Year. And a long-time pal is planning on learning French in hopes of traveling to Europe. She admits, she may never get there, but wants to learn the lilting language anyway.
For each of us, there are things we've always longed to do, but demands of job and family convinced us the dream was just a selfish luxury.
Now, as we enter this New Year, it's a good time to give ourselves permission to follow some of those stifled dreams. Without putting our day-to-day duties aside, without slighting our families, we can still make the transition to a more fulfilled life.
It may take a little shifting of priorities to set aside time for ourselves... maybe a little less television, perhaps getting up 15 minutes earlier... but the rewards can be a new dimension to who we are, a new excitement in all we do.
Life, after all, is out there to be lived. It would be a shame to stand still and simply wait for it to happen.
No matter what 2013 did - or did not - bring, don't look back. The brand new promise-filled year of 2014 is waiting just outside the door.
Turn the knob and invite it in!