Darline: I will do everything possible to find new friends in the town I moved to recently to be near family. At age 83 it takes an effort to seek out people and join new groups. Not being able to drive at night is an added hindrance. However, my motto is the same as Dorothy Dix who wrote a long time ago “I stood yesterday, I can stand today.”
Muriel: Stay young by traveling in a New Year with your adult children and going to far away places where life is very different from senior condos in the city! I just returned from two very interesting weeks in Uganda where much poverty still exists and most roads are unpaved and in very bad condition, but it is a paradise in beauty, “the queen of Africa”, according to Winston Churchill, a century ago. Tropical flowers, vast tea plantations on green hillsides, banana trees in most backyards, and smiling faces abound. While women centers we visited give protection and economic opportunities, the numerous elementary schools are everywhere and in need of supplies, tuition and facilities that makes basic education possible for 250 students in two rooms! (We discovered ways to send limited help to provide a couple of young children with tuition to attend if there is interest.) But we went to see gorillas in the BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL FOREST. In Bwindi they claim it is the only place the highest three primates might be living side by side! For two mornings we marveled at the animals’ beauty, traits so like ours, large appetites, loving family relationships, and ease of moving about humans without seeming threatened or afraid. If you are hesitant to trek in highlands, along narrow paths, through thick vegetation, and fear of not making it wiith a group of nine, you might inquire about a lodge, like Sanctuary, which can provide a sedan chair and carriers to make some of this experience possible for women in their late eighties, an experience that gives an unlimited pleasure for all who see this. When one is near the national airport at Entebbe, one can leave by Lake Victoria speed boat to travel to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary where followers of Jane Goodall created a place for these primate who like the gorillas demonstrate their “human like” skill like catching food thrown like baseballs, do sommersalt entries to greet guests, and smile at humans who smile back and find joys and lifted spirits as a new year begins!
Rose Marie: When you smile at someone, smile from deep inside with warmth and sincerity and not just with your face. It makes all the difference and the warmth you were sending out will tend to remain in your own heart. It is a great practice and everyone benefits.
Cathy: Show up…. and do your best without judgment.
Gerri: Reach out for something new- not only embracing it- sometimes perhaps
Lucia: I’m going with Ann Beattie who said – What will happen can’t be stopped. Aim for grace.
Margie: Listening to uplifting music, being with uplifting people who don’t judge, watching a comedy and writing a gratitude list, going to a yarn shop and knitting with a group there. These are all activities from time to time that have helped me get through sad times. Feeling feelings is tough but I’ve been told to feel them so they don’t come back to haunt me.
Nancy: Appreciate every single day. Enjoy the gifts that nature provides. And watch as many sunrises and sunsets as possible. Have you taken the time to observe the night sky, especially on a winter’s evening? May everyone benefit from a positive outlook and speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.
Helen: Life is such a wonderful journey. I am enjoying the new awareness, reflection and taking responsibility for those things I placed on others. I feel good. I followed through on a new certification that was quite exhausting, but I did it. I finished it. I can do anything. I think that is part of the key, not judging ourselves because when we do that to ourselves, we do the same thing to others. Let’s move on with our lives knowing that there is a reason we have lived this long.
Julie: In 2017 I want to expand my capacity to love openly, particularly with those that have different values than me.
Mary: This year I will try to maintain the positive attitude that has gotten me through some difficult times in my personal life; in particular, I will wear my safety pin, display my anti-hate lawn sign, and continue to encourage my one remaining student teacher to speak out for the American values that seem to be in jeopardy in the way she approaches both curricula and students.
Elissa: Congratulations to all of us. We made it thru 2016. We marched forward thru births, deaths, divorces, mental, physical, financial political, slights, hurts and an assortment of negatives. Our skirts are slightly tattered, our shoes a bit muddy but, by golly, we made it to 2017. A bit wiser and much stronger to tackle this new year and all it has to offer. How lucky we are to be able to choose from yesterday, today and a glimpse of tomorrow. Pick one from column a…hand-written thank you notes. One from column b…the internet and from column c… a space trip to mars. It boggles the mind. We can leap from home-made oxtail stew to buying hard boiled peeled eggs from the deli counter and still have a discussion with your fridge about out of date milk! So bring it on 2017, we are ready and able to enjoy you with gusto.
Winnie: 3 words for 2017: KEEP IT SIMPLE
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