A New Year, A New Start

(photo by Free Walking Tour Salzburg on Unsplash.com)

Do you believe in the new year providing a fresh start? I do. Actually, any time is a good time to begin anew. With the calendar reflecting 1/1 to kick things off, it feels like a natural time to plan for new adventures.

My personal words to start the year are: Proactive, Energetic, Introspection.

To me, this means that I want to spend time uncovering what is most important, and then taking action steps to bring about positive, lasting change. I create my own path, one that is true to my needs and desires. I focus on my energy as I do tasks. Does this task bring about negative or positive energy?  I want to spend more time being in energy that frees me, energy that I enjoy, both my own and that which surrounds me. I am kind to myself.

In order to gain clarity on my inner voice, I need to do things each day that bring out this voice. To do this, I am implementing daily meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, yoga, nature hikes, and a (mostly) plant-based diet. Together, these practices will give my inner voice a passageway from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind.

In effect, my goal is to get in tune with my intuition. If I’m paying attention to my inner self, ideas may pop into my mind at any time. I need to be ready to write down these thoughts as they occur, and then take action.

I am excited to get started.

What are your personal words to start the year?

What’s Next?

Last week, I had an appointment with a new doctor. That means it’s time to fill out a whole bunch of paperwork upon arriving. One of the sections of paperwork asked if I had a living will and a last will and testament. I checked no to both. They are not done yet, even though I am aware that they must be completed. As a matter of fact, I already have a blank living will from the surrogate’s office in the county that I live. This document is pre-written out, except for blank spaces and check marks that I need to add based on my choices for medical care should I be unable to express these wishes verbally. I bet a lot of people have waited until their parents have passed away before actually taking the time to complete these important documents. I lost my mom last year and my dad in 2016. As their primary caregiver, I witnessed their end of life challenges first-hand. I am forever changed by these experiences, both in challenging ways (witnessing their struggles) and good ways (spending time with them).

Now that I have completed these tasks for my parents, including the grueling work as executor over the past year, I am ready to move forward. However, I have lost interest in going back to doing many of the things that I used to enjoy. That’s because I want to experience new things, and not simply go back to the old patterns of living. Looking at it from another viewpoint, the Covid shutdown put a stop to many of the activities that we all enjoyed. We’ve all had to create new ways of being (and surviving) during this pandemic. Now that things have opened up (at least for now), many people have gone right back to the way it was for them; doing the same activities, eating at the same restaurants, etc. I would prefer to try new things, and new ways of living.

As a single person with no family commitments now, I can literally create my life from scratch. One thing I crave, at least in the short term, is alone time. As an introvert, I regain my energy from quiet time; the opposite of extroverts who prefer to be around groups of people to regain their energy. And also, because I’m still recuperating from five years of not taking care of myself as caregiver, I’d like alone time for the peace and quiet that it will bring. I’d like to spend a lot of time in nature as that can be a valuable part of the healing process. And I’d also like to travel to locations across North America, camping along the way. This venture has been delayed, but I’m preparing for it.

Here are some of the things that I’d like as I move into this next phase of my life.

Live a minimalist lifestyle. I read someone else’s blog during this Ultimate Blog Challenge that reviewed the benefits of being a minimalist. It allows for a simpler life. Less physical clutter, and more space in the mind to focus on our most important and desired pursuits. All I own now (my parents and my belongings) is located in two 10×10 storage units. Ultimately, my goal is to whittle down to one 10×10 storage unit.

Build up a health coach business. Up until now, my business has been more like a hobby. While caregiving, I earned my life coach certification, and have coached on and off on a part-time basis. My masters degree in Integrative Health was an eye opener to the wonderful world of holistic health. And as a caregiver, I learned a great deal, as I interacted with various doctors, nurses, and professional caregivers.

Continue to grow as an individual stock trader. After meeting with a few brokerage professionals, I decided to trade my own money on my own, as I was not happy with their trading styles. One of my escapes during my caregiving tasks was learning various ways to trade. Most individuals know how to buy a stock when it’s low, hold it, and sell when it’s high. I now have an understanding on how to make a profit when a stock is going down, or when a stock remains in a range. In addition to trading stocks, stock options and futures allow for these various methods of trading. Putting this into practice will be the challenging and fun part.

Play Guitar: Another escape I had during my caregiver years was to learn how to play the guitar. I was able to purchase an electric guitar with credit card points, and it still works great. Until now, my practice has been primarily playing my favorite songs with chords. I am now ready to delve deeper by practicing scales, learning where the notes are on the fretboard, and playing more intricate songs.

Live a Holistic Lifestyle: I feel better when I eat healthy foods (especially vegetables), meditate, write (thanks UBC!!!), exercise, etc. I want to create time each day to do these activities.

Do all these things (and more) while on the road: After my self-imposed caregiver status at my parents’ home for five years, I want to get out on the road and explore wildlife with my camera.

It is time to take the road less travelled. To start anew. The time is now.