Guest post: “I Got There Anyway” – by Pat Bailey

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Sunday 29 December, 2013 by Uncle Spike

The New Year is almost upon us once more, and I was thinking about ‘looking ahead’. To share her thoughts on this subject, I’m delighted to introduce Uncle Spike’s special Guest Writer for this week, Pat Bailey, a retired Psychologist and a blogger who I enjoy following.

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New Year’s Resolutions: And I Got There Anyway

This is the time of year when we think about the year that has passed and make predictions about what is to come. January first is an artificial marker of the end of one year and the beginning of another – a result of the creation of the calendar we use. Every day is the end of a period of time and the beginning of another but Uncle Spike didn’t think about asking me to do a New Year post for September 14th. Just as well because no one would have been interested in reading it.

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Which Way-2

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I think it is useful to assess and plan, but I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. In the past 50-some years I have probably made some – but I don’t remember and I doubt that I successfully met them. I do remember being in a workshop on midlife development and was asked to write down, on small cards, everything I wanted to accomplish in the second half of my life (I was about 40). We were then asked to prioritize them according to when we wanted to accomplish them; next year, within 5 years, and longer. I took them home, put a rubber band around them, and placed them in my undies drawer. Ask any woman and she will tell you that anything put in the back of an undies drawer is important, but quickly forgotten. A year later I found them. I was amazed that I had accomplished all the goals written on these little cards for that year. It felt kind of like, “if I put them in my brain, they will happen.” (Hasn’t worked for the 1995 resolution mentioned below.)

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Which Way-3

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But I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I have some big plans for 2014 but I’ve already made reservations and paid deposits. Maybe I could resolve to stay alive long enough to not lose my deposit but I don’t see the need given I’m not suicidal. I hope I stay healthy but that seems to be mostly out of my power at this point. Hubby and I have changed to healthier lifestyles over the past 15 years, but that wasn’t because of New Year’s resolutions – it was because we recognized our mortality and wanted to live longer. I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions to stay healthy when I was 30-something because I didn’t think I would ever be unhealthy. I made the decision to not smoke because I liked candy bars better. When we reached 50-something, nature made us resolve to live healthier, not the coming of a new year. I suppose I could resolve to lose weight but I’m still working on my 1995 resolution to do that.

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I don’t think I’m the one to give advice on writing New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, feel an urge to give advice to people who are younger – and almost everyone seems younger these days. When I have to click the year of my birth in those drop-down menus, I have to scroll way, way down. It feels like scrolling to the beginning of time. I’ve been around the block a few times but I don’t think New Year’s Resolutions got me there and back again. Establishing good values, having a good idea of which block I wanted to go around, and keeping my nose clean during the journey helped. I remember working hard at being an adult when I was young and am working hard at being a kid now that I’m old.

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If you believe you need to write New Year’s Resolutions make sure they are goals you can accomplish, you can tell when you have accomplished them, and you don’t sacrifice something you value. Maybe it is enough to make the resolution to have lots of laughter with family and friends, do work that pays the bills and brings some satisfaction, and to take care of yourself and those in your community.

written by: Pat Bailey

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Hi, I’m Pat and my blog is called A New Day. I started the blog as I was re-inventing myself once again – this time in retirement. I love to write and I bought a DSLR camera so my blog provides a place for me to share my photographs and write about life. My interests include how we develop and change in adulthood (including adjusting to chronic pain), relationships, travel, and everything I see that is beautiful. My time is split between Michigan (look for the Great Lakes) and southern Florida. I would love to have you check out my blog at imissmetoo.me

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10 thoughts on “Guest post: “I Got There Anyway” – by Pat Bailey

  1. Great post, Pat. Love your last sentence. It makes so much sense. 🙂

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  2. Thank you, Pat for making me feel better about the New Year’s resolutions. Lovely post. Happy New Year to you and yes, I will check out your blog. Since you are on Uncle Spike…
    Cheers!

    Like

  3. Pat says:

    Hey, Uncle Spike, you made me look soooooo good. The post looks great on your blog. I also wrote a little on my blog with a link to yours so you will hopefully get some more traffic. 😀 Happy New Year to you and the whole Spike Clan. When do you celebrate the New Year at your dot on the map?

    Like

  4. […] you can read my New Year’s Reflections by visiting Uncle Spike’s blog by clicking here. While you are there, check out some of his other posts. He has a great sense of […]

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