The pressure is on.
Or maybe it’s off.
Instead of obsessing over a brand new year, we get to obsess over an entire decade.
Or we get to ease up on ourselves and spread all those resolutions over 10 years instead of one.
It’s all in how you look at it. And since the decade starts with 2020, how can it not bring us perfect clarity?
Do the math. Right now. Add 10 years to your life. Now add 10 years to the lives of all those you love.
Some of them won’t be around in 2030. They will be dead or in college or married and no longer living under your roof.
In 10 years, I’ll be 73. My husband will be 75. Our oldest child will be 51, and our grandkids will be 20, 18 and 16, pretty much all grown up. It’s pretty stunning to see my life in those numbers. It makes me want to show up more in their lives in ways that matter most to them.
To close up the old decade, I completed a “Decade in Review” designed by the famous B-school entrepreneur, Marie Forleo. Before launching the next 10 years of your life, you take some quiet time to reflect on the past 10 years and what they have taught you.
First, you write down what you’re proud of, then what obstacles you overcame, then what’s most important that you created in your life these past 10 years. You also look at what to release and what you want to create, experience or accomplish in the next decade.
Taking inventory of your life helps you see what truly matters. In the past 10 years, I became a mother-in-law and a grandma to two more grandchildren. I published two more books, started writing for the Cleveland Jewish News, moved into a new home, took up archery, learned to love my mom better before she died, introduced a good friend to the man she married, completed four book tours in Poland, helped start two wig salons at The Gathering Place, and stayed cancer free and healthy.
You also list the mistakes you’ve made in the past 10 years. Mine? The most important mistakes weren’t about work or finances, but deeper ones, like taking too long to reconnect with an old friend whose daughter died a few months ago from an overdose. Being too critical of people instead of showing empathy and understanding. Not listening more to our adult children and learning from them instead of trying to give them my advice (OK, boomer!).
The biggest game-changers? I learned to surrender the life I thought I wanted to simply love the life I have. I learned that being aligned with the God who loves me matters more than all the action I think I should take to improve my life. I learned that the highest spiritual life one can live is knowing that every moment is better because it passed before you (thanks, Michael Singer).
That’s my true goal for the next decade: To be present and offer the world my best self, moment by moment by precious moment.
Of course, there are things I’d like to improve to keep my body healthy for the long haul. We’ve all heard the quote, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”
Like most people, I treat my car better than my own body. My car never runs out of gas, but I do. I skimp on sleep and forget to eat or don’t always put the right fuel in my body. I want to make better choices to eat clean, move more and sleep when I’m tired.
I want to make more time for friends, especially after losing so many great ones this past decade: Monica Turoczy, Bill Joseph, Beth Ray and Jim Samuels.
In 10 years, we’re all likely to lose someone we love. It’s nearly guaranteed. You don’t know who, so all you can do is love them all better.
In 10 years, your parents or siblings might be gone. Make peace with them now. In 10 years, your spouse might be gone. In 10 years, your children or grandchildren will be driving or graduating or living abroad. Give them the best of you now, because all you have is now.
These next 10 years, go easy on yourself and everyone else.
As the late Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
Let’s all enjoy the journey.