Categories
Challenges

Life Changes

A storm approaching, but not all is dark

These are strange times. Life has been turned upside side down and it may never go back to what it was. It is not only the obvious changes, but the more profound ones we have yet to see. Those are the ones that will affect us for years to come. The ones, that if we are lucky, will change our lives and make it better. We must pay attention!!!

These are the ones I see coming. Not trying to place them in any order or pretend that I know better than anyone. These are only my observations, the way I see things from the relative safety of my high-rise apartment overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Once all this craziness fades and you can all be sure that it will, what will be left? So here are my observations, take them as you will. Still do not be in haste to discard them, to ignore them or to simple put them aside.

First, the fact that we are looking into a life-changing event will affect us like it or not. There is no ignoring the obvious, but also there is no need to panic and rush to dangerous decisions. Let’s keep our collective head and breathe before we act. This change will serve us well in every aspect of life from now on.

Second, Nature needs a chance to heal itself. We have not given her this chance and we are now paying for it. Just look around you, pay attention. Have you ever noticed that when a field is abandoned for a while, it becomes even better? Or a garden that is left to itself it regenerates and bursts into life? In my little island when I open the windows, I can hear birds singing again. Absolutely glorious!

Third, with enforced quarantine or a two week stay-at-home period, most of us will discovered that home is the safest place for us. We are going back to appreciating the joys of family time, of reading a book without rushing, sharing meals and having conversations at the table. We have time for today and that is a change we needed.

Fourth, as we look into ourselves and our family and home, we may discover that the time we have spent following Social Media is wasted time. Influencers, athletes, actors, politicians and other so called celebrities have nothing to offer us that we cannot think up by ourselves.

Fifth, we might realize that we are part of a whole and not the most important part. For longer than we can remember, humans have tried to control everything, now everything is making us stop and think. Hopefully this will make us go back to basics, to what is really important. This is our wake up call, let’s listen!!

Some will say I am more fortunate than most and that is true. Others will point out that pontificating from my point of view have little value. Still others will let me know that observations are not exact science. They will all be right, but if all of us keep how we feel to ourselves…..what then? It is in the exchange of ideas that we can find the solution and it is in finding common ground that we will survive. I am so sure of that!!

Categories
Living

The Simple Life

Anyone remembers a television program called “Green Acres“? I know I am dating my self with this, but somehow it came to mind today. You may ask why. This program told the story of a big shot lawyer who decided to leave all behind and move to a farm in the middle of nowhere. His glamorous wife had no choice but to follow him. They were going to live the simple life.

Well, it did not work out exactly as they envisioned it. The husband, Oliver, had all these preconceived ideas about what a rural life would be like. Consequently, he never really adjusted. He was impatient with his neighbors, couldn’t get their ways, wanted things to work his way. He needed to be in charge.

His wife, Lisa, did not want to move from the city she loved. Leaving behind her pampered life was very hard, but she understood what their new life in the country was all about. So she adapted better to her new surroundings and got along with their neighbors. He had too many expectations, she had none. He wanted to control, she went with the flow.

So many of us, having reached this stage in our lives, want something uncomplicated, relaxed and simple. After all, we have worked hard, bid our time and finally have the time and resources to start our new lives. We are retired or about to retire. We have time in our hands, the children have moved on. We decide to downsize, move to a smaller place or across the country or across the sea. All sounds so exciting, doesn’t it? We go ahead and start getting ready.

Unfortunately, not all of us ask the right questions before going all out trying to organize this move. We have all these expectations, these perfect plans for our new life. Expectations are high, we get caught in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Pause and breathe, please.

To get to the simple life so many of us want these days, we must be like Lisa. We must have an open mind, accept the changes this new life will bring and go with the flow. There is no other way to succeed at this.

Categories
Lessons

Let Life Happen

Desenzano del Garda, Lombardy, Italy

How many time we hear someone saying: just go with the flow? I do many times and from different people. Of course the meaning of the phrase can be the same, but the context always changes.

It doesn’t mean going with what is happening and letting the situation affect you. Going with what is happening and consciously letting it pass you and flow around without drawing you in, without attempting to control anything. That is what it means. Seems simple, isn’t it?

Nothing farther from the truth, we all know that. Life presents us with countless situations. We should not response to each one in the same manner, some we can ignore or let flow by. This is how it should be, but unfortunately it is not. We are still so involved in what is around us, trying not to miss anything that we miss life itself passing us by. It is human nature to try and control events. Realistically, no one can control everything, we should know better.

Since we have more years behind us than we have ahead of us, we must just go with the flow. Each day is a gift, a new opportunity to enjoy life and to make memories, to learn something useful, fun and to be grateful. This is our time, so go with the flow and let life happen….it will anyway!!!

Categories
Challenges

You are in Control

Yes, you are. It is finally absolutely clear to us that we know what we want, know how to get it and are in control of our lives. That is to say, as much as we can control anything. Of course, some of us have always known what we wanted and were able to have some control on things affecting our lives. If you are one of them, you are indeed lucky!!!

For the rest of us, this is a great thing. This is the time we are making decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. This is the time we must be sure of what we are going to do with those years still ahead of us. Life happens, that is true, but a measure of control over our decisions goes a long way to ensure our peace of mind as we move ahead.

Well meaning family members and friends will offer solutions, they will be sure we need their input and it is reassuring that they care and want to help……but the final saying is ours and that is as it should be. We must remember and we must tell them: we are in control, we know how we want to live our lives.

So take your time, make your plans, enjoy the ride that is still there for us. Have the answers you need and do not let anyone push you into something you are not ready for or willing to try. Life is good and if we are in control, we are free to enjoy it!!!