By Kristina Powers Aubry
Well, it’s February already. Seems like it was just Thanksgiving. Time is moving onward. Are you? The early months of winter, especially after all the hubbub of the holiday season, seem quiet and we may gratefully nestle into cozy, warm spots in front of the fire or registers, with our fluffy slippers, under blankets, watching the snow blow outside the window. By now, the enthusiasm for the new year and those energetic resolutions has had time to be tried out and fade away, or dwindle to half-hearted efforts, or still be resolved but easier to start in the spring. If you are one of those who is still working to be better fit, losing weight, and seeing the bright side, more power to ya. Keep it up.
One thing February does tell us is that time continues to move ahead with or without us. It isn’t necessary to move full-speed-ahead all the time but we need to remind ourselves, standing still accomplishes nothing in this all-too-short life. Some people have ready-to-move active lives. They never seem to be sitting still or at home. Others have moderate lives going to meetings, church and meeting up with friends. Still others have much quieter lives seeming hardly to venture out. None of these is better than the other. Every creature has a pace at which they are most comfortable.
The most important part of the daily routine is having a plan; looking ahead to see farther than the next hour, next day, next week. Back in the “olden days” there was a chore for every day of the week; Monday = wash day; Tuesday = ironing; right through to Saturday = house cleaning for Sunday. Now in “modern times,” electricity and technology have allowed us to use less time for chores and have more time for elective activities. Even though chores take up plenty of time, what are you doing with that “extra” time?
Do you think about things other than chores? Do you set aside time to socialize with friends? Do you make time to read, play games, watch movies? It won’t be winter forever, even if it does feel like it. What about the spring and good weather? The nice weather provides more opportunities for outdoor activities, especially, socializing with less fear of the infernal virus. Do you think about volunteering a little time to help others? There are plenty of chances to make another’s life better.
The important idea is to keep looking forward. Looking toward the horizon rather than concentrating on things near, keeps us fresh and allows us to use the time we have to greater purpose. It gives a sense of hope and excitement. It brightens the spirit and clears the mind. It allows us to see a bigger picture of the world and the possibilities in it.
Now, this doesn’t mean Walt Disney cruises for everyone. But what about a short walk a few days a week? Talking with a neighbor. Making certain your paperwork is up-to-date. Telling your children or grandchildren stories about your past. Learning a new skill.
If you do need help with planning for the more foundational needs in life, like paying bills or buying food, you may want to reach out to South County Community Services. SCCS has many ways to help out with these problems, both as daily concerns and especially in an emergency. The folks there are experts at helping you look forward and plan for the future.
There is a Latin phrase which helps us remember how important it is to see the optimism in thinking of the future, Sempre Avanti, always forward. Keep one foot in front of the other and moving ahead. Lao Tzu reminded us the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. But ol’ Mark Twain came up with a good reason to keep looking up and moving ahead. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
Kristina and her husband, David, also a very active volunteer, came to Vicksburg 42 years ago. She has spent over 30 of those years actively volunteering in groups and special projects to improve the quality of life in the Vicksburg area. They live in Schoolcraft Township.
By Kristina Powers Aubry