Don’t Retire, ReFire: As we close the book on 2020

By Gail Suplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

Here we are, nearing the end of the year but not just any year. This is a year that will truly be memorialized in the history books. It’s certainly like no other I’ve ever seen in my six plus decades of living.

It’s particularly notable for a young person, like my thirteen year old grandson, to be living through and being very much aware of and affected by such an unusually tumultuous time in history. He will certainly have stories to tell his children and grandchildren. He and I have had interesting discussions! If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity for a conversation with teenagers, to listen to their viewpoints, I’d highly recommend it! Many adults in high positions could learn and take heed from the simplicity of the solutions they offer.

This time last year I was ruminating on the significance of, not only a new year, but a new decade with great excitement and anticipation. There was something so exhilarating in it.

As I thought about how I was going to begin this new adventure and thinking about the opportunities I will create, I was moved to write out how I wanted this year to look.

I wrote what turned out to be more like a “To Do” list. The title was, “Back to me.” What followed was, “New Thinking. New Mindset. New Opportunity. New Possibilities. New Attitude. Then I concluded with a quote from the Dalai Lama, The ultimate source of happiness is our mental attitude.

While the year started out with me moving forward on that list, it quickly took a sharp turn only three months later.

I don’t think any of us understood the magnitude and duration of this pandemic until late spring. As we mostly stayed home, only going out for essentials, we realized that this was going to be a long haul.

A couple of months later I redid my “Back to me” list, calling it “Correction 2020”.

The correction changed the focus to relationships and caring for one another.

My “Call to Action” listed five important proclamations. They are:

  • Health is true wealth.
  • Live each day with a grateful heart.
  • Make as many memories with family, as can be made.
  • Where attention goes, energy flows.
  • Life is unpredictable, so never miss the chance to say, I love you. You are important.

What is your “Call to Action” as we move into 2021?

My hope is that through this year, what has surfaced is a sense of urgency and the understanding that life is short and we each have internal gifts that must be brought to the surface and shared with the world and not kept to ourselves.

We struggle and strive to make things right but we often fail to meet the expectation. However, it is in the struggle and striving that we become better versions of ourselves.

It’s taken six plus decades, a pandemic and a turbulent presidency to realize how unpredictable life is and to enter into the next year with a simple mantra/call to action that can withstand stormy as well as smooth seas.

We have been enlightened in the awakening that we are all connected and have been deeply reminded that a virus does not discriminate and does not care about status and/or lot in life.

Be a “Moment Maker”. Focus on being clear of mind, grounded in who you are, centered in spirit and fully aligned.

The goal of this grand human adventure is to see what all you can do with all you have been given. Our purpose is productivity; pursuing the full development of all our potential. – Jim Rohn

As we enter one of the holiest seasons, release your joy into a hurting world. Live and walk with the directive, “Peace on Earth, Good Will towards Men.”

In the words of Poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi – Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal.

God Bless Us, Everyone.

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