Reflections on the year's end

They say that time going by faster is a function of age. I never really want to hear that. One upside of aging for me is that I like myself more than I used to, my work is more satisfying and less stressful; maybe that's why the time goes faster.

Studies show that time feels more compact to us as we age because we have more for comparison -- a lifetime of time -- whereas an infant or young child has only had a few months or years. That's one reason why an infant or young child can be so upset over loss of creature comfort -- hunger or sleeplessness. It feels endless to them.

Well, anyway, none of us are getting any younger, so there's no time like the present to work on the new and improved you. For those of you who feel you don't need to improve, perfect just as you are, would you please let yourselves be known to those of us who are less than perfect. We could use your help in 2001!

I'm not sure what my new year's resolutions will be this year. I do need to be a little more consistent with my walking and stretching exercises, and well, yes I could name a lot more, but my editors would have to add a couple of pages! Not that I'm that unhappy with myself, I just view my preoccupation with self improvement as an ongoing kind of thing, kind of like road construction in this country. There used to be two seasons, winter and road construction, now they just ''construct'' all year long.

Some of my preoccupation comes from my work and writing this column. Seems I'm a walking library of health and wellness tidbits glaring back at myself when I don't behave. I can think of worse things, just not right now.

This time of year I look through my daily personal health journal. Looking at a year's worth of entries I can see patterns that are healthy growth experiences and others that seem dorky and I wonder why I let that upset me. Yet I take comfort in those entries as well. Read now with a quieter mind, I see it's not as horrible or earth-shattering as it once seemed. It also gives me a sense of my human connection -- sometimes fragile, frail and capable of some pretty dumb things.

This year, whatever your personal resolutions are, be gentle with yourself. Don't let old patterns get in the way of making some positive change. Yes, you can lose 30 pounds, stop drinking or stop smoking. You can rebuild a broken relationship with a family member, but don't expect a long standing problem of years to be resolved in a few weeks. Resolve to be happy with your progress no matter how slow it might be. Work at it, write about it, talk about it, or read a book on it. It's up to you to keep your resolutions. It's also up to you to give up on the ones that are unwise or unrealistic.

May your new year be filled with joy and love and health and if your year sees a new improved you that's great. If not, I love you anyway, just the way you are.

Till next time, Rebecca.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 26, 2000

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