This year has been difficult to get started. I guess because it seems just like the one before it, and the one before that. Yeah, it has been a grind lately.
That being said, I have been taking this time to note my own discomfort with where I am right now. I have been thinking about retirement, about slowing down, and doing things a bit differently than I have been for the last several years. I have felt like I have been in suspended animation for the last two years and any plans I might make right now will undoubtedly change. Have you felt this way too?
When I think of retirement, I don’t mean quitting my job and getting into a new routine at home, with its own set of tasks. No, I am trying to figure out what it will mean for me to be retired. I have always been someone with lots of irons in the fire, including full-time work, part-time side hustles based on my interests and leisure time again spent in the pursuit of interest, education, and community. I am not sure I am ready to not do anything. But what does that look like? Unknown, but I am working on letting it show itself, not forcing it.
Now “slowing down” - that is definitely something I can get into. In fact, I have to say that is right where I am at these days. You have heard of the slow cook method, right? I am thinking maybe we should apply that methodology to our lives right now. You know, only add a few ingredients, break down the tough components, less is definitely more (at work, and at home). And for goodness sake, give yourself time. Time to get things done, not too much on your plate, and above all, enough rest. That sounds like a perfect recipe to me.
And speaking of recipes, how about mixing things up in your diet? As we learn more about gut health, we realize that not only getting more vegetables in our diet is good for us, but it is also important for microbiome that we increase the diversity of the vegetables we include. That is, if you eat a few standards that you like such as broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots on a weekly basis, give some other vegetables a try right now. Winter is the opportune time to eat roasted root vegetables. Yes, roasted potatoes are divine, but have you tried parsnips and turnips? I love roasted Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, squash and zucchini. Hey, how about slow-roasted vegetables? Download
this recipe and give it a try.
And finally, a word about doing things differently. I am delightedly looking forward to traveling to Cape May this upcoming weekend for a yoga and meditation retreat, which I haven’t done in some time given all of the craziness we have been in for almost two years now. In fact, it is the same retreat I attended back in May 2018 where I finally got the habit of daily meditation. So, I don’t know what new habits I am going to pick up this go-round, but I am open.
I guess what I am saying is that is Ok to not know the next step. That it is best to wait for it to reveal itself. And thankfully, this is a particularly reflective time of the year as we are forced into solitude by nature, and activities naturally quiet down after the frenetic holidays. It is a perfect season to consider what we really want to do with our time, our talents and our relationships. And that is exactly what I have been doing. Taking inventory, assessing what matters, what doesn’t serve me, and what brings me joy.
I guess that is the point of this post. Looking at, examining, questioning, and perhaps doing things somewhat differently in 2022. I am feeling an obligation to myself, and to you as a regular reader of my posts, to offer you commentary and resources in a new way, that hopefully will put you on a path of self-discovery and reinvention too. Stay tuned and be ready for changes.