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January 3, 2014

Boomer Talk: Getting better

New Year’s Eve is usually a time when friends gather together to celebrate, eat and drink (and sometimes overdo it). For me, on that special night, rather than go out, I choose to “go in,” to become introspective and investigate or “wring out” the old year, before ringing in the new.

I remind myself of the key points, both the lows and the highs. What were the new opportunities and the successes? What were my challenges, and how did I come through the losses and the disappointments? How did I do with it all? And what do I want to see in the coming year?

I recently heard someone quote a celebrity whose wisdom I do respect, Oprah Winfrey. She said, “The new year offers us another chance to get it right.”

I have been considering her statement ever since. What does “right” mean anyway? What am I supposed to “get”? And why does it even matter to me?

An important spiritual teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, greatly influenced me when he wrote about our longing for our lost perfection, the urge to do and to be that which is the noblest of which we are capable while we are on this earth.

It seems that no matter what age I reach, I do want to be better. Since getting better seems such a huge topic to exam and tackle, I divided my life into a pie with three parts: work, body/mind and relationships.

First, I looked at my work life. Like many boomers, I am in no position to retire. My savings fund is abysmally low, and besides, I am fortunate to take pleasure in the work I do, and so am not motivated to give up this part of my life. But earning “right livelihood” is the challenge.

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