During this time of goal setting and resolution making, have you ever thought about what your ancestors wished they had done differently? Did they smoke Pall Malls, work too much, extend that happy hour, or neglect exercise? What was known at the time about carcinogens, calories, and the importance of moving your body? We live in a time where health data can be Googled instantly, but that gift of knowledge works both ways. It can help us make healthier decisions but can also bring feelings of shame or guilt knowing we could all be doing much better.
Since 2015, we’ve asked a whole lot of people about lives well lived and also about regrets and paths not taken. I often think about those responses during this time of rest and restocking. If you still have elders around, I challenge you to ask them about past and present New Year’s resolutions. It may be to lose a few pounds, or it may cut deeper, like wishing to be more present for their loved ones or mending relationships before it’s too late. What can we learn from our family members’ missteps to shape our own path?
Questions like these bring lessons to learn from, but they also bring commiseration! I'm certainly a work in progress and take comfort knowing that my parents and grandparents likely felt the same way.
Happy New Year! Here’s to many good stories ahead for all of us in 2023.