“When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success.” Charles F. Glassman MD
The impending closure of 2021 causes me to reflect on my accomplishments and ponder my resolutions, aka intentions, for the coming year.
Annually I create a Road Map that details what I want to accomplish in the coming year. I have learned that I’m prone to heading in multiple directions without identifying my priorities without a plan.
In Road Map 2021, maintaining good mental and physical health is prioritized. I acknowledged that although semi-retired, I was still a caregiver, an author, and an elder in a large family, living like the rest of us with the uncertainty we all faced with COVID19. My mapping included vacations, a girl’s trip to St. Augustine, Florida with my besties and my eldest daughter, and vacationing with a travel group in Jamaica. My highlight was a catamaran ride, snorkeling, and feeding tropical fish that snapped food from my fingers.
“There is no art without intention.” Duke Ellington
There was also an intended publication of my third, stalled, detective mystery novel Slay the Dragon and publication of The Chef’s Choice. This holiday romance novella had slept in the draft folder for two years. I’ve found that regularly reviewing my road map keeps me focused on my goals. However, upon closer scrutiny, I realize that I have so many intentions each year that I seem to be racing to meet the goals and forgetting to savor my journey. Perhaps that accounts for the panic attacks I have begun having…Humm. Over-committing and overthinking seem to be my growth edge.
Several days ago, I made holiday cookies for my neighbors. That night I lay in bed struggling not to get up and unseal the cookie tins to make sure that each box had the same number and flavor of the cookie. Of course, it’s not like my neighbors were going to compare who had more chocolate chip or sugar cookies than the other, but there I lay in bed, losing sleep, considering opening the boxes and reallocating the cookies!.
Thankfully, my 2022 Road Map is going to be more qualitative. I am reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, and I’ve decided to have four overarching goals on my road map; they are: 1) to seek joy. 2) to bear the light. 3) to face my fears. 4) to love more.
Seeking Joy – As I gratefully age, I realize that no one cares about all the ‘to do’ lists completed at the end of life. I’m not diminishing accomplishments; achieving goals that elevate your personal goals and enhance the lives of those you care about is responsible, wonderful, and necessary. We are here to move the needle on the human condition. It’s just that in the fourth quarter of your life that takes a back seat to qualitative living. For me, seventy-two is not where the joy came to die, and in 2022, Omicron is dammed. I plan to be a joy-seeking missile.
Bring light– My mother transitioned in April, leaving her husband behind in our care. So often, when one member of a couple transcends, the other quickly follows. As I lean into that thought, I think the lack of something to look forward to is a death knoll, and as my sister and I focus on the stepdad’s physical care, we are intentionally considering how to bring joy to a person. Of advanced age and diminished vitality? This requires gaining more profound knowledge and creativity.
Face my fears – Careful review of my 2021 road map reveals that the unmanifested items represent fears. In Curtis 50 Cent Jackson’s Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, he wrote that he was fearless by the time he was an adult because he had already survived all the worst things that could happen to a person. He advised, “Meet fear head-on and engage it until it is resolved.” That is my plan for overcoming my two big fears.
Love More – This one here! I’m naturally a loving person, but I am gun shy as it relates to dating. In 2022 I plan to rise each morning thinking of how I can love myself. I believe that in loving myself, I will set in motion the law of attraction and draw to me the unseen man who will love me the way I deserve to be loved and how I am prepared to love him in return.
Susan D. Peters, aka, Ahnydah (ah-NIE-dah) Rahm, brings a wealth of experience gained as an expatriate living in West Africa. Her memoir Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot, received the Black Excellence Award for Non-Fiction from the African American Alliance of Chicago and the Mate E. Palmer award for Non-Fiction from the Illinois Press Women’s Association. Stolen Rainbow, a short story focused on the post combat recovery of a beautiful marine captain after a devastating combat injury. Broken Dolls, represents Susan’s foray into mystery writing and is the first of a series featuring the flawed Detective Joi Sommers as its heroine. The second Joi Sommers mystery, The Iron Collar is a riveting story with multiple ingenious twists, and Slay the Dragon the third in the series, illuminates the sexual exploitation of children in expected and unexpected ways. Susan’s work is featured in numerous anthologies. Buy her books online and at www.SusanDPeters.com.