Who's In Charge?
#106 More Insights
The truth - it wasn’t me often enough. Throughout my life - and that’s a lot of years - I tended to leave the decision-making to others. Sure, I made big decisions about getting married, having children, earning a Ph.D., and becoming a psychologist, but I let others decide for me more often than not. Let me explain.
As children, my brother and I had no voice in the family. Our parents taught us to
be seen and not heard
not ask questions, or talk back
do as they said - period
My mother chose my clothes; my Dad picked out my first jobs. I had few chances to build decision-making skills or gain the confidence required to make them. After we married, I let Dan make most of the decisions. Now, I see how handicapping that was.
They no longer have a voice in my life, but others do. Doctors tell me what I should and shouldn’t do - even though what they say disagrees with my sense of things. Politicians tell me what I can and can’t do even though they don’t know me, and the news warns that my fate is to experience numerous ailments, grow old, and die.
While there are many examples, three stand out for me.
I regret not questioning the details of the surgery that changed Dan’s life or the medications the nurses gave him during his hospital stay. I knew him and how he would respond. I wanted a different route, but they were supposedly the professionals who knew better. I didn’t disagree or voice concerns. I just said ok.
I resent that the government and the Supreme Court have the power to make choices about my body regarding issues like abortions or euthanasia. Those should be my decisions if I am of sound mind.
I refute the myths and misinformation that abound regarding aging. I am 84 years old, take no prescription drugs, walk a couple of miles daily in good weather, and have plans. So, don’t tell me that all my future holds is curling up in a ball and waiting to die. That’s not my plan.
Sure, sometimes, I want to crawl under the covers and read a book; but I firmly believe that:
I want to take charge sooner and make my own decisions. I won’t say it’s a New Year’s resolution or even a goal, but the path I want to follow. Now what?
Well, based on the article What Does Take Charge of Your Life Mean, I must know myself first. For example,
Identify my strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.
I’m discovering new things daily. I am resilient and can do more than I thought. I don’t like chaos or uncertainty, nor do I have as much stamina.
Recognize my moods, reactions, and responses to what is happening and how they affect my state of mind.
My moods affect my ability to keep going. It’s hard to motivate myself when it’s rainy or I’m blue. I’m more motivated in the morning than at night. There are things I can do to lighten my mood.
Observe how my environment affects me.
When I organize, I feel calmer. I decorated the apartment in beige and blue, with lots of plants and light. The cats wander around freely. My physical space is comforting.
Know my core values and purpose.
I value independence, honesty, persistence, contribution, continued learning, and personal development. My purpose is evolving.
Know my priorities in life.
My priorities are aging well, family, and contributing to life.
Connect with my values and vision and set meaningful goals for myself.
I made my plan for aging well based on those priorities. They include being physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy, regularly doing things with my family - even if it’s a Skype conversation or text message, learning to write well, and saying yes to life.
Appreciate self and practice self-love.
Appreciating myself is a work in progress - probably the one that needs the most effort. I am self-critical and hard on myself far too often.
The next steps seem to be taking charge of my life and making more decisions based on what’s suitable for me - not what others say is right for me.
Tony Robbins, a well-known motivational speaker, offers ideas for taking charge. Here’s a simple guide to his words of wisdom.
So here’s the beginning of my 2023 plan.
On the one hand, a word coming out of my mouth more often is “no.” No, I’m not going to do that. No, I don’t believe that. No, thanks. I am beginning to figure out what I want and am willing to do.
On the other hand, the word yes is coming out more often as well - yes to life and taking responsibility for it. Yes, to making my choices and aging well.
I intend to ask more questions, say what I think rather than what I think others want to hear, stand up for myself, and make choices that work for me rather than sabotage me.
That should keep me busy this year. What are your goals or intentions for the new year?
Two articles I wanted to share with you this week are
Biggest Retirement Issues. It’s good to plan.
Romance Scams on the Rise. This video was on Good Morning America. It is a reminder about Dating Sundays and the vulnerable time between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
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