I couldn’t resist posting this a couple of days early. August doesn’t begin till Wednesday – however, I felt compelled to share this with you.
I got a note from the Director of Alumni Affairs at Cornell. I love a line in the article he sent, about putting yourself on your “To Do” List. I’m a pre-Boomer and even I need to remember that every day. It’s what I coach others to do. We all need to practice that.
When I say, “To do list” here, I’m not talking just about tasks you do each day that will benefit you at work or those tasks I wrote about in a previous column that were really about helping others – I’m talking about benefiting YOU! I truly can attest to the fact that adding looking out for myself instead of focusing only on everyone else in my life is helping me to rejuvenate.
You may want to practice rituals in the morning or at different times of the day. The rituals that have been proven to work, like the Indian chanting AAHHHH in the morning and OHHHHHM when you’re closing down for the day can be very helpful. When I was younger I thought they sounded a bit too “Woo Woo” – but after chanting along with Wayne Dyer’s CDs a couple of years ago I could feel the energy shift. It’s said that the sound Ahhhh is the Universal Sound of Creation and Ohhhmmmm is the Universal Sound of Completion. I could feel it was right. Whatever gets you to “get out of your “thinking mind” for a few minutes, I believe, is a help. Practically every religion has some sort of positive ritual. I bet they were originally designed to steady people.
That’s going back to the idea of “unlearning”. These “To Do’s” are for you!
This also reflects the same underlying idea that I speak about in my book “Find Your mini-Qs(?): Reveal the Slim, Strong, Sexy Star You Truly Are! at Age 50, 60, 70, and Beyond.” This book is about rejuvenating your body. I’m finding that the same principles underlie anything you want to accomplish. I didn’t make the concept up really. Aristotle said kit long before I did. I wanted to help people in modern terms and give specific patterns they could design for themselves which fit into their lifestyles.
Phyllis Weiss Hazerot, with whom I’ve become friendly through Cornell networking events in Manhattan, works with companies and groups helping them to uplift their company’s intergenerational relationships. She’s slightly younger than I am. She’s a Boomer. The Boomers I learned are a competitive group because there are so many of them and they feel they need to work harder to claim a piece of the pie. I get the feeling that, if you’re a Boomer, you might be out there, working away and forgetting about taking care of yourself. Since the recession hit in 2008 most of us are out there working and working away.
It seems to me as though the women and men in my age group had different expectations of what would be expected of them as adults than the Boomers did. My baby sister was a Boomer. In the 1940s and 50s I don’t remember hearing the term, “Stay At Home Mom.” The term Mom said it. It meant that “you stayed at home”, at least Mom’s who could afford to, stayed home. It was usually because Dad started to earn enough to allow her to be one. Unless a woman had to work because her husband couldn’t quite “foot it” she usually dreamed of creating a beautiful home and raising lovely children and, perhaps, being involved in community affairs and volunteer for not for profit organizations that would help people who didn’t have the benefits she did. I think that even the “poor” girls dreamed they could live that way. If I’m wrong about this please don’t hesitate to comment. I graduated first in my class from a college at an Ivy League University and I dreamed of meeting the man of my dreams and helping him in his work by entertaining clients, becoming active in the community and networking with people who might become his clients or bring business to him. The men expected to have to serve in the military and then marry, earn a decent (or better) living and be a positive influence for their children. This doesn’t mean we didn’t think we’d have HUGE TO DO LISTS. You can bet we did picture huge lists of tasks we’d need to do each day. What made it different for the women was that the To Do Lists didn’t have to do with earning money – unless that was necessary.
As I write about my age group I can sense that men and women were concerned with the needs of their family, their employees if they had them, their business connections and their communities. Guess what? We still had HUGE “To Do” lists – and – our “To Do” lists were very much based on the needs of other people. We were focused on filling our days with activities to please out families and/or friends and communities. Many of the men and the women who were in the work force remained with the same company for years and earned 25 year designer watches, etc.
The way I see it, the Boomers also put themselves last on their plate as individuals. They were out marching for other’s rights, which is a good thing. AND – they needed to learn to take care of themselves too. Even the “Millenials”, or children under 31, as this group is now called, while credited with having less empathy for others than Boomers did (Phyllis Haserot and I both have to be convinced that this is so. The students I worked with fall into this group and they are in my heart and I still see some of them. They still have to work hard to get jobs that use their talents in this period of” financial challenge.
The point I’m trying to make is that all the age groups easily forget to put themselves on their “To Do List”.
What kind of “To Dos” am I referring to? I’m referring to activities that refresh your soul! Play a violin for a half hour if you love to do that even if you never intend to join an orchestra. Meditating works wonders. Find a center in your area or, even in your church, that has classes in meditation. Getting a massage (spending you YOU for a change) is a “YOU” activity. Taking a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn…just “because” can be wonderful for your outlook. Taking a walk on the beach can uplift you, if the ocean uplifts you. I think you get what I’m trying to say. It can cost a little money or be totally free of any monetary charge. Find what makes you smile and ….put it on your To Do List! Say YES to YOU!