Don’t retire, ReFire: A hop, skip and a slide into the next year!

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

It’s hard to believe that we are in the last quarter of the year. It feels like just yesterday we entered 2021.

In the beginning of the year, there was hope, with the introduction of the vaccine, that we’d be on the other side of the pandemic by now. Regrettably, that is not what has transpired. Many of us were starting to make plans to gather and travel by mid-year yet there continues to be risk involved to do so.

While I felt the above needed to be said, no more needs to be said about that.

The following message pivots towards the question of how we plan to finish out the rest of the year that will be productive, satisfying, rewarding and gratifying.

With only three months left in the year, what steps do we need to take in order to accomplish all that we had our sights set on in January?

Is there a sense of urgency to “get things done” before the end of the year? Is your list short or long OR are you someone who is right on schedule? (Bravo, if you are!)

In truth, whether we do or don’t get everything done on our list is secondary to what is most important, which is our mindset, our emotional health and how we interact with the world around us. All of this has an effect on our physical health.

If we focus on what we haven’t done, we become anxious and unsettled. It can be a constant battle.

Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to practice kindness to ourselves first and foremost.

So, what’s the plan? Let me share.

  1. Be like a racehorse with blinders on and only concentrate on what task is in front of you. Take one task at a time from start to finish, and then move on to the next. That alone brings a sense of achievement and the fuel needed to carry on to the next task.
  2. Make a list. List what needs to be done in order of importance. Try not to deviate from the order unless one assignment becomes more important and needs to be adjusted.
  3. Pull from the resources around you to implement your plan. Ask your friends, pull from the internet and don’t forget to pull from your own inner resources, like your intuition, your intelligence, both emotional and knowledge and your courage to keep going.
  4. Take action! None of the above will get you to the finish line unless you take action every day. It doesn’t have to be all day, every day, just something every day.

This time of year has always been hectic for me since my children were born, over forty years ago. I felt like I was on a skateboard from start of school, then my son’s birthday, then my daughter’s birthday, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then HAPPY NEW YEAR! Since those early days another main event was added, my first grandson’s birthday! I can barely catch my breath but it brings me great joy! I try to savor each event, year after year, yet still, it goes by in a blink!

Consider this a resource and utilize these tools to get going to have an amazing fourth quarter!

In closing, I’d like to share this quote from Lao Tzu who puts in simple terms how to be at peace with yourself, your inner circle and the larger world around you. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

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