New Year’s Plans
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For many of us it is no longer necessary to be concerned with the basics of life – food, clothing and shelter. We’ve reached a point in our history where we can afford to indulge ourselves in aspirations to be a better person. No matter how we protest, in the back of our minds, we plan to make changes in our lives during the new year. Self-deceiving we make resolutions for the new year which we seldom keep and wallow in guilt feeling all year because we fail to reach our impossible ideals.
This year I’m taking the opposite approach; instead of making a list of things I must do I’m making a list of things I do not have to do.
1. I do not have to give any reason for my decisions or explain my actions. When I do is anyone listening?
2. I do not have to do things the way other people do them. Is this akin to ‘keeping up with the Jones’? Who are the mysterious ‘they’ we often hear quoted?
3. I do not have to live up to someone else’s expectations. This is a toughie because early in childhood it was ingrained in us that certain things were expected of us.
4. I do not have to have all the answers nor do I have to be right all the time. There was a time when it was expected of me to know the answers or at least know where to find them. I retired from that job to let someone else carry the burden.
5. I do not have to defend what I believed yesterday. When the day comes that we cannot change our minds in light of new discoveries we are in deep trouble.
6. I do not have to live my life to suit others. Have you ever had someone look at you and say, “If you’d only …”? Did you itch to respond, “If you want it done, do it yourself.”?
7. I do not have to take responsibility for other people’s problems. Especially things that happened 100 years before I was born.
Seven “don’t have tos.” Take a look at the things you do. If you’re not happy doing it, ask yourself where it is written that you must continue to do it. Have a Happy, 2023.