- Family – I am so fortunate to have loving, caring family all around me. From wife to children to daughters-in-law, to a 3 ½ year old grandchild. A brother, sisters, brother-in law, cousins, and even more distant relatives. Having all these positive, encouraging family members is a blessing and a wonderful resource.
- Health – Ok so I have depression or major depressive disorder with suicidal ideation. Despite that, I am out and about each day. At work, I walk 4 to 7 miles in a 9-hour day. And I can navigate from the bottom of the glade to the top of our property without stopping. I could not do that without stopping when we first bought the place.
- Positive Attitude – I am very proud of my decision years ago to not engage in negative self-talk. I do not say “oh I’m not very good at this.” My focus is always on what can be done, not on what cannot. But I am not perfect and negative thoughts sometimes sneak past my radar. This distracts me from my mission to stay positive.
- A Chance to Do Better – Each day, I can choose to do better than the day before. And each day, I can start over. I can make a conscious decision to make today, at least a smidge better than the day before.
- I Am Alive – It’s going to be harder to move ahead if I am dead. Some people are recognized for their efforts long after they have left the ranks of the living. Einstein comes to mind. But by being alive, I can keep moving towards my goals. I can see the difference each day makes for me and those around me.
- Being Surprised – Almost every day, I catch myself saying “I love getting up in the morning, because I always learn something new.” And the exciting part is that while I know that moment is coming each day, when it happens is often a surprise. And I am very grateful for that.
- The Chance to Have a Do-Over – Having lived my entire life with depression, I am certain that there have been times when I made classic mistakes. And I may not have made these if I wasn’t in bed with my depression. Retiring early, just when what I had planned for the past 40 years was about to come together, is for me, an example of my following depression instead of my own common sense, but because I am still alive, I can regroup and try again.
- I Can Travel – Life’s activities have been a reason why I have not traveled as much as I do now. Commitments to family, my career, and other activities pushed traveling the world to the back of my priority list. But in the past few years, I have had a chance to revisit my priorities. I have moved getting to some of my bucket list destinations to the top of the agenda.
- Self-Care – So I am finally making myself a priority. Self-care is still a sketchy phrase that makes me a bit uncomfortable. But making my needs a priority has been a huge deal. It gives me renewed hope that I can use this to help prioritize other areas of my life.
- Writing – I love expressing my ideas and writing is for me one of the best ways to do that. And making the opportunity to write makes me happy. Some of my best days begin with me doing some writing. I follow that with outdoor time to complete projects around the property. I am very grateful that I am able to write.
So, this is what I am thinking about and am grateful for as 2024 begins. ‘
I will do my best to remember these as I go through the year. I am very optimistic about 2024 and see so many possibilities. And everything on the above list will help make 2024 the best year yet.