mindful of the year to come

by Sharon Santoni


winter path home

With the passing years, or rather decades ahem!, I make fewer and fewer new year resolutions.   As a young girl, every January saw me with a brave new list, of nigh-on impossible tasks.  With the energy and resolve that only someone under 20 can deploy, I managed to see some of them through, and today I look back on that younger girl, amazed that she gave up chocolate for a whole year, or ran every day come rain or shine.

Today I’m more realistic;  ambitious in different ways.  I prefer the notion of taking stock of where I am, rather than planning for the impossible.

And while I have never really got the hang of meditation –  it’s the sitting still that is problematic there – I can definitely find the time and mental space to reflect on where I’ve been over the past year, and where I’d like to head this year.  A useful exercise for focussing the mind, and the diary, on the year before us, looking down the path ahead and wondering what is over that next horizon, or just around that bend.

winter country road

Obviously the fact that this blog and My Stylish French Box have now become a full time job has a huge influence on my thinking.  At a stage in life where many of my girlfriends have all the time in the world to lunch together, shop, play tennis or travel, I  discover that I have actually gone back to work!  Who knew that would happen?!  Of course I love my new activity and I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I guess I feel a little out of sync with my peers.

I’m interested  to know how you feel about this stage in life, as I’m sure that many of my readers are in a similar age bracket, or getting closer.     Is being in step with your friends important to you?  Important enough for you to turn down an opportunity for fear of rocking the boat or missing out on their fun?

And back to the new year resolutions or lack of them …. a big part of my mindfulness at the start of 2018, is being more aware of how we treat our planet; limiting my carbon footprint, and careful about recycling and saving energy.  I worry about the world that my grandchildren will one day inherit, and the only way for us to try to preserve them is for each of us to live carefully,  mindful of our environment.

So how about you?   Do you draw up and stick to a list of resolutions, or are you happy to go with the flow, and keep a vaguer target in mind on the far horizon?  Do let me know, I’d love to hear.

winter path through forest









Gayle Callahan January 15, 2018 - 6:32 pm

At the age of 82 I have a lot to reflect back on and my new goals are short term. First is attending the graduation of my grand-daughter from nursing school in May. Then I will select another goal and so it goes. Then living in the U.S. with our current man in the White House one can no longer plan on social security, medicare etc. In the meantime I love reading your blog and the photo’s. Keep us thinking!

Marie Batson January 15, 2018 - 11:30 pm

At the age of 77, I so agree with your comment regarding setting short term goals. I also find myself reflecting on how we treat one another and how our words matter, being sensitive to our loved ones and kind to strangers. I am realizing how much more important relationships are than things and stuff. I also agree with the statement of how there are things we cannot count on or do much about.(our country’s current leadership etc.) I find myself wishing life was more simple and feel that today’s youth are missing out on some of the values we had years ago. God, family and friends are what really matter!

Heather January 16, 2018 - 1:31 am

What a beautiful response to an equally lovely post.

Leslie in Little Rock January 16, 2018 - 4:47 am

Oh Dear, have you all spoken my heart or what!!!? I am a windowless widow at 55. My husband is 62 with early onset dementia. Man, if that doesn’t change your focus… nothing else will. I have learned these 3 things: Ask for help, lower expectations all the way around, (including yourself), cherish the moments and love those who are there for you.To have God’s blessings in the midst of heartache?…. there is no price.
Dreams of France-keep my dreams alive (-:

Marie Batson January 16, 2018 - 5:05 am

Hang on my dear and keep looking up for strength that will let your love and memories of better times sustain you.(and also a lighter, brighter future one day). I have been widowed for 16 long years and cared for my love for six years prior to his passing but his was a physical disability. Time together is so precious. Don’t be timid in asking for respite and take care of yourself with special outings, treats etc. Keep dreaming of France too!

Gretchen M Bertman January 15, 2018 - 6:35 pm

I choose a focus each new year such as; kindness, compassion, listening, helping others et cetera. Happy New Year to all!

joie January 15, 2018 - 6:40 pm

First I would say “go with your heart”. Can you have both worlds? I think yes, but only smaller pieces of each. Perhaps you can dial back on the blog…maybe not as often, then take that time to spend with friends and most importantly family. At this age I think it is important to remember that time is not infinite for us. And I too worry about the health of our planet. Where I live we are very conscious about recycling and reducing that carbon footprint, but unfortunately not the whole US is the same, and certainly not the world. So we do need to help others work on this.
In the end, parcel out your time. It is not all or nothing. If you still enjoy the work, go ahead and do it, but don’t let it interfere with perhaps what is more important in life.

Hattee Christian January 15, 2018 - 6:47 pm

Hey, Sharon. At 76, I couldn’t have made it this far without my Lord and my network of friends. He gave them to me and He works through them to support and love me. I couldn’t do without either and I NEVER turn down a chance to be with my buddies! Love to you and Hana.

Susie January 24, 2018 - 12:43 am

Hattee, I am exactly your age and I agree with all you said. I live with almost constant pain, but I simply cannot give up. I go when I can, plan something else when I can’t. And in spite of every-thing, this is a beautiful time of life. Fewer responsibilities, old (!) friends, an undemanding husband, grandchildren close by. We love France, and our house represents that love, but we no longer fret about dust, cat hair, and some worn furniture pieces. Nice how God eases us into new stages.

Catherine January 15, 2018 - 6:55 pm

I know what you mean about being out of sync with your peers, although our situations are different. My friends married and had children at more “traditional” ages; I married a bit older, and waited even longer to have my kids. I am an attorney and wanted to have a bit of time to myself and my career. My situation required that I stay home while my kids were growing up (no. 1 is out of the house, no. 2 soon to follow). The children of my friends are all grown and starting to marry. My friends have been back at work or finding new hobbies while I was child-rearing. I find myself looking to my next chapter. I also find that I am content with being a bit of out of sync. I am looking to go back to some kind of meaningful employment, even if part time. That seems more attractive to me than an endless supply of free time. Time for travel is a must, however.

Judy Wilcox January 15, 2018 - 7:03 pm

I am 75 and have lived most of my life by “the seat of my pants” and I think my life has been wonderful! As I age, I realize that family and friends are what are
really important. I am blessed with the best. I talk to my son every day. My husband and I are in good health. I spend part of everyday with a family member or friend/s and my life is very full. Things I do with friends: writing group–writing our life’s story, 2 book clubs, sewing group, 2 rug hooking groups , a random acts of kindness group where we each put in $20 a month (we’ve given away thousands of dollars over the years)and the hostess
decides where the money will go (anonymously), a birthday club and a church fellowship group. My days of serving on boards and raising money for non-profits are in the past and I am enjoying the present and looking forward to the future. I have several friends who are dealing with serious health issues and it strengthens my resolve to live each day to the fullest, doing what I enjoy with people I love.

Gaynor January 15, 2018 - 7:13 pm

Hi Sharon, I was fascinated to read your latest post as it echoes my own experience exactly! I worked from home whilst my children were small and they were my priority. Now, however, they’re all grown up and need me in a very different way. So I went back to full time work (publishing job in London which means a long commute) and I love it! My one observation though is that my friends and the set up I used to have around me here in the countryside are changing. They can meet up in the daytime – I can’t. They swap stories and support each other and I’m on the periphery now. But what I’ve gained in return is immeasurable and occasionally feeling I’ve lost the me-time is an inevitable consequence of this I think. I still see my friends, just less potential and make sure I build in time for myself in the evenings and at weekends. Keep doing what you’re doing – I love my forays into France through your eyes! Love, Gaynor xx

Marcia Moore January 15, 2018 - 7:13 pm

I just turned 65 in December 2017 and my New Years resolution was more like the next 30 year plan than it was focusing on 1 year. I am the owner of an interior design firm and love what I do – can’t imagine retiring for at least 10 more years! I have many things I want to accomplish before I get to the point of needing to do less. I look at this as the final trimester of my life and it is all about me – what I want to become and accomplish without the need to take care of children or anyone but myself. One of these days I’ll show up on your doorstep, Sharon!

Kim January 15, 2018 - 7:14 pm

I have never been in sync with my peers and at this age I no longer care about that. I do what I feel the Lord is calling me to do at any given time. I find if I live in sync with the Lord then everything else works out just fine. I have a few close friends that I enjoy spending time with in addition to my family. Several of my friends have many grandchildren so they stay really busy keeping up with them. I have only one grandchild so sometimes I feel left out but I also enjoy the slower pace.

Candace January 15, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Having retired twice from full time teaching first and then part time social work, I now live on a long held family property in a house my father and brother built 30 plus years ago where we tend a garden and fruit trees, have dinner with neighbors and company from the city. I only resolve to be the best steward of the land that I can and as kind to others as I can and figure that’s as good as it’s going to be for me. Friends are important and so is time with them.

Marian from England January 15, 2018 - 7:21 pm

Hello Sharon. I agree with you that we have to be more realistic about goals as we get older and that we also tend to reflect more as we have history and experience to look back on. Whatever that was, I think we should acknowledge it, whether good or not so good, and then focus on the year to come. After all, there’s no denying that January is a new beginning! So this year, at 66, I’ve begun a yoga class and a Nia dance class and am loving it. Today, I spent booking a long awaited holiday to France in June!! We are so excited now it’s booked and are also looking at ways of learning to speak French, however basic it may be. Along with grandchildren, friends, garden, hens and village life, I think we will be busy! As long as one looks forward more than we look back, I think that is the most positive way to be – it’s only the future we can change, and the past we can learn from. Have a wonderful 2018, but take care not to miss out too much on those friendly get-togethers! I’m certain your bloggers would back that decision even if it resulted in less posts!

dale white January 15, 2018 - 7:28 pm

As a 73 yr. old man still working in the investment advisory field, who, 10 years ago, never thought he would still be working at this age, finds that still having a real purpose in life, helping my clients have enough money to “retire” really gives me a sense of satisfaction and a desire to continue taking one year at a time. Yes, I do need more balance in my life and the previous comment about being part of a “Random acts of kindness” group is a great idea. My goal this year is to spend more time in my beloved France, especially Normandy (Deauville) with all its beauty and wonderful people, that I have gotten to know through Sister Cities International, which I highly recommend if you have never explored that organization in your local area.

Judi Castille January 15, 2018 - 7:47 pm

I decided to finally change career. I paid a visit to Waterstones in London to get a book on finance – I am an accountant – and burst into tears. After a few stressful years, I moved to France to make a new life, but this month news that my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, meant a visit back to London. These two events have made me decide that one must follow your heart. Time is precious and health, happiness and creativity is my resolution.

Taste of France January 15, 2018 - 7:57 pm

Older is wiser. I wish I had had this wisdom at a younger age, and I am in awe of those who, while young, embark on an entrepreneurial adventure. Now I have so many ideas and still so many years left to work before retirement–even though many friends have already retired or been forced to do so early in the form of layoffs. The bones creak, the muscles ache, all-nighters are out of the question….I’d love to dive into an adventure/venture, but only if it can be done at a distinguished pace that’s right for my age.
You and the blog and the Stylish French Box are a great inspiration.

Lin Powell January 15, 2018 - 8:12 pm

At 69, I am using my retirement years focusing on me. I have always wanted to explore art more, and now I am taking the time to do something “arty” every day and loving it. I’m not finding the need for “friend time”, and have become a bit of a hermit just discovering me. I have spent all my time previously on kids, husband and friends and I am now finding I need this alone time with just my paints, papers and music. And I love it!

Alice Genzlinger January 15, 2018 - 8:13 pm

When the world starts pressing in and seems to be going crazy I remember that God is in Control, not me, not anyone anywhere. It’s funny to hear the voices saying what they are going to do in a new year without a thought of asking our Heavenly Father. I stopped making resolutions long ago mainly because I don’t like to break a promise to myself or others and because Abba Papa is where I go for future plans. He know best.

Donna R January 16, 2018 - 3:41 am

Beautifully said! Amen!

cece January 16, 2018 - 10:59 pm

Alice, this is oh so true.

Carolyn Withers January 17, 2018 - 4:57 pm

Amen Alice!

Carolyn Withers January 17, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Week said, Alice

Carol January 15, 2018 - 8:20 pm

I have never made any comments on a blog but found the comments interesting. I live in the US and believe who is President should be called Mr Trump out of respect. I don’t believe any social security or benefits will be taken away. So much negativity and not enough kindness. At 73 years old I am grateful to be healthy and that my husband has lived four more years after battling lung cancer. I have one daughter who loves her work and is not married so we have no grandchildren but we are happy,grateful and everyone is blessed in different ways. I look forward to your blog as you are always positive . Take time to enjoy your family and friends and enjoy what you are doing now. Everyone should complain less and do more to make a better world that we all share.

Kellyd January 16, 2018 - 2:26 pm


Sandy Jones January 16, 2018 - 2:50 pm

Thank you, Karen for your positive comments. Such fear mongering by press and those not really knowing the facts really disappoints me. I started a new business at 60, a retail jewelry store and I love what I do immensely. Coming up to 65 this year has me spending more time with loved ones.

Nita January 17, 2018 - 6:01 am

Nita January 16 Amen well said

Gerry Ventura January 27, 2018 - 10:56 pm

I agree! If reistence to President Trump stopped, we would all realize how blessed we are to live in this country! I love to vacation in France and have done so for a dozen times in the last 20 year’s, but realistically, I know at age 84 I will never get to live there more than one month at a time . That’s my reality and life is pretty good as it is!

Elizabeth Etter January 15, 2018 - 8:44 pm

Hello Sharon and Happy New Year!
I share some similarities with you in that some of our friends are starting to retire, and yet for me, my career has just begun. I lived somewhat off the beaten track due to having home-schooled my large family of seven children for almost 20 years, a task I truly loved and would never change. As I approached 50 and my youngest was entering high school, it occurred to me that it was now or never for going back to the workplace. I had always wanted to go to graduate school and with so many good and inexpensive on-line programs today, it was a reasonable thing to do. Along with grad school, I had always wanted to be a public health nurse, which was my first job back after 25 years being a full-time wife and mother. Next my dream was to teach at our local community college, which I have been able to do for the last three years since earning my master’s degree. I still love being a wife, mother, and now grandmother, but am very thankful to God that I have this chance to be a “career woman”, a role I hope to be in for the next seven or eight years. As I say to my students when I help them with career planning, “today is the first day of the rest of your life!”
Best to you and all the readers,

Jenny Ledermann January 15, 2018 - 9:22 pm

My husband and I are retired on our small ranch! We enjoy our aging horses, dog, chickens and kittens!! In my Beautiful family we are black, white
Hispanic Irish English American Indian french english Scottish Hungarian German gay! All legal! We aren’t old enough yet to collect social security
Which will be there when we need it!! And Medicare!! And as Christians we Love our Beautiful World and are good stewards to keep it that way!! My daughter and I really enjoy your blog and the BEAUTY you so Graciousely represent in everyway!!!
Love and Blessings to you and your Family in 2018

Ellen January 15, 2018 - 9:47 pm

Hi Sharon,
My New Year’s resolutions have changed over time as well. Now they are less about accomplishing things and more about ME! Staying mindful both physically (more exercise, movement and healthy eating) and mentally (more ME time, meditation and keeping the brain active by learning new things). I turned 56 in December 2017 and feel like I have so much more life that I want to LIVE, not just watch go by. My sons are both in their early 30’s, one is married and no grandchildren yet. I am brushing up on my French to visit your beautiful country again, hopefully this September and I keep busy with small home improvement projects. One of my goals this year is to work from home one day each week so as to make a small contribution to helping the environment – that is 48 kilometers roundtrip. I have never felt in sync with any of my friends. Most view me as quirky, but over the years have grown to admire my ability to march to my own drummer – or so they tell me. That being said, I do find more time now to meet one or more friends a few times a month for a glass of wine. I have also been taking cooking classes to have fun and expand my horizons on the kitchen front. I embrace life and know I am blessed. And one of those blessings is your blog! Thanks for your stories, pictures and people that make France the beautiful country that I’ve grown to love.

Teresa Phillips January 15, 2018 - 10:01 pm

I appreciated your comments on protecting the environment as that is number one with me too. Other priorities for this year will be health,fitness and a productive veg garden. I’m enjoying my vegetables 3 x day and not missing the grains,dairy or sugar. Got an app for learning french, but probably won’t travel so rely on your postings for my France fix. Practicing goodness, mindfulness in my 57th year.

Alison January 15, 2018 - 10:11 pm

Such an interesting topic & comments from a wide range of perspectives. Being younger I am taking note of all of this:))

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things January 15, 2018 - 10:39 pm

I choose a word each year and this year my word is “enjoy”. Basically be present in the moment and enjoy all that life has to offer.

Jeannine January 15, 2018 - 10:57 pm

I have never felt in sync with most people. I used to say to myself, “what’s wrong with me?” as I so often saw things differently than many people or didn’t find the same things enjoyable as others. At 60, I no longer do that. There’s nothing wrong with me. I have a phrase for the year: The time is now.

Madeleine January 15, 2018 - 11:01 pm

Wow, I enjoyed this post very much, and all of the comments.

I no longer have resolutions, sometimes I set an intention, but this year I’m focusing on a word. That word is ‘nourish’. After 10 years single- parenting, rebuilding the house last year after a fire, and the death of my mother, I want to take time to ‘nourish’ myself on every level. That means fabulous food, yoga every morning, lots of funny movies, time playing the piano and with friends. I’m refilling the well so that I can have a wonderful next decade (I’m 50).

Recycling is wonderful but even better is not to buy too much stuff in the first place! And growing some of our own food – so many benefits for body, mind and environment.


Heather January 15, 2018 - 11:08 pm

I think this may be one of the first times I’ve commented on your blog…I’m in a slightly different stage than most of your readers, I guess. I just turned 31 and am single, and am working on starting my own counseling business (hopefully full time by this year). I first found your blog last year because of a gluten free recipe you had posted, and then I found out you write about beautiful things in Paris and are a Christian…well, just yes. I love the pictures you post of your home and countryside. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Clare Long January 16, 2018 - 12:12 am

At 51 …life is important but an unselfish one. Be true to yourself and your family. Friends are a huge part of our lives but family are the life. Never fear of missing the boat .. go with you instinct, your fears, your passion and live if life … that is what has got you this far …. x

Sandra January 16, 2018 - 12:14 am

At the ripe age of seventy five I have learned to embrase life as it comes and make the best of everyday. It is wonderful that ordinary people respect their planet but I regect those who speak the loudest but fail to live the way they preech others to live. I believe in the Lord and look to him for my inspiration and pray I can be a good person and follow him wherever he takes me. I pray that our country the (USA) will not have so much hatred towards their President and instead the two parties will find a away to work together for the benefit of all it’s people. I have a 30 something year old disabled child who lives with my husband and I and his wellbeing is our priority. Our children and grandchildren help shape our lives everyday and we feel blessed to have each and everyone of them.

Clare Long January 16, 2018 - 12:14 am

At 51 …life is important but an unselfish one. Be true to yourself and your family. Friends are a huge part of our lives but family are the life. Never fear of missing the boat .. go with you instinct, your fears, your passion and love of life … that is what has got you this far …. x

Vicki January 16, 2018 - 2:46 am

Wow! First, I love your Blog and love your short stories. I believe there is a very good novel in you somewhere about a romance yet to bloom in a lovely city in France.

I just turned 70 and can’t believe how fast I got here. I try to tell those who are younger, not to waste their life on frivolous things, but to make it count for a better good. I am thankful for my life and well being. My husband has developed a health issue which we are dealing with at this time. I am a Christian and put my trust in our Lord to see us through. I pray for our country and desire our people to do what is best for our future. I do believe our President is a smart and gifted man and can handle the job, if given the chance. Like another of your readers, I do believe God is in control of it all and the puzzle pieces are falling into place. We will all be accountable to Him someday, and I’m thankful He has redeemed me for all of eternity. Blessings to you, Sharon and to your family in this new year. Enjoy your life!

Leslie in Little Rock January 16, 2018 - 4:50 am

Amen Vicki!

Dottie Monta January 16, 2018 - 6:19 am

Well said, Vickie!

Karen January 16, 2018 - 3:54 am

What wonderful winter pictures you posted. I love this season and the post-holiday quiet. At 72 I don’t do resolutions anymore — but did write down some “intentions” this year, trying to fend off my stubborn anxiety and too-consuming focus on relatives (96-year-old mother and ailing stepfather, unemployed 62-year-old sister who depends on us for a lot of things, 4-year-old granddaughter whom we babysit weekly …). I have three “goals”: to move more (and follow news less!! Yes, I’m in the U.S., and what a political season it is), find ways to be creative daily (cooking. gardening, sketching, writing notes to friends), and to look for joy and adventure every day and in every circumstance, whether at a hospital or playing “family” with granddaughters. Just remembering those three words — move, create, joy — make a difference. I enjoy checking out your blog regularly, for the photos and inspiration.

robert January 16, 2018 - 5:05 am

God made us each as individuals! I do not
make resolutions but hope for guidance.
You are a very gifted lady, your blog,your
photography, your written word…..all give
to your community and your world. This is a wonderful gift….the ability to share yourself. All we can ever ask for.

Lorrie January 16, 2018 - 5:39 am

Dear Sharon,
I am in much the same position as you. When my children left home, I found myself at a bit of a loss, did another degree (in French), and went back to teaching. I teach part-time, so it’s not as overwhelming as it could be. Still keeps me plenty busy. But I love it, and I enjoy being with young teens (most of the time).
Many of my peers are retired and free to plan their own schedules. I do feel left out of some things, but try to plan other activities that I can attend with them.
I don’t make resolutions, but do try to live intentionally. This year, I’m focusing on finishing many of the projects I’ve begun that need attention. It won’t take too long if I just complete things without beginning anything new! But I’m often dazzled by the possibilities of fresh starts, so I must be firm with myself in order to keep this intention.
Living more lightly on the planet is something I’ve been working on for a couple of years. Because of that, I’ve begun making my own yogurt, in glass Mason jars, because I cannot purchase it anywhere in anything other than plastic containers.
I’ve followed and read your blog for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how you’ve found your niche, and have made such a success of blogging.
Bonne Année!

Vicky January 16, 2018 - 1:40 pm

Lorrie, Yoplait makes a French style yogurt and it comes in cute little glass jars. A bit pricy for a container of yogurt but very good.

Lorrie January 17, 2018 - 4:36 pm

Thanks. We go through a lot of yogurt and it would mean buying an awfully lot of little, expensive jars. The yogurt making is going well, for now.

Dottie Monta January 16, 2018 - 6:48 am

How enjoyable to read others’ views of their new years’ objectives! Such diversity. Cocooning in frigid Pennsylvania with an epic cold, I still thrilled to your Winter photographs, as this is my favorite time of the year! Particularly like the icy one (is that a cat on the left of the path?). As for “ages and stages,” my husband and I travel, read, study, participate in political affairs, volunteer at our church (I design floral statements—all natural things), and consider it a privilege to be consulted by our darling sons and their three adorables! Girlfriends and I play Bridge once a month and do shop and lunch when we can. Family, friends, a sense of making happiness happen, and thanking God for it all—I sense that’s what you’re all about, too, Sharon. May you continue to share the beauty!

Natalia January 16, 2018 - 6:58 am

Sharon,your posts and your special boxes are wonderful.Always something to look forward to!
Thank you!
At 71,I am more than aware that there are more days behind than ahead.
Thank God for health issues handled;strength in trying to cope for the loss of our most cherished family members.
Right now we are trying to come to acceptance for the fire and horrendous rain and mudslides which have devastated our place of 28 years with destruction and death.
We are blessed to not have been there at the time,but loss of friends weighs heavy .
God is so merciful,granting us blessings which we pray to be worthy of.

Kathy January 16, 2018 - 7:00 am

Sharon – Thank you for the beautiful winter photos and another great post. Life is certainly full of ups and downs. At age 49 I found myself an empty-nester and a widow. I was on my own for the first time since age 18. After months of soul-searching and many sleepless nights, I decided to finish my education and open my own interior decorating business. Getting to a place where I knew it was ok to focus on just myself and accept this new normal took a while, but I have loved every minute and feel so blessed. I encourage you to continue following your passion. You will find a balance in life and the time to pursue friendships too.
Twenty years later, I’m still enjoying my work and all the new friendships made on this journey. If you decide to cut back some on your posting we will understand. Life is short and each day is so very precious. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2018.

Hazel Lavelle January 16, 2018 - 12:28 pm

Dear Sharon
Well what can I say !, after reading everyone’s comments before me , some were so touching and made me cry , as I sit here having a late breakfast in dark rainy old Manchester uk and looking forward to the rest of the day ,
Iam am a tutor and teach my students art , and now after so many years they have become good friends as well .
Iam so lucky and feel so blessed with with what a do . The main thing is to live each day as best you can !! Well done to all the bloggers for the comments and to you Sharon for being the special link for all who read you ..

Love Hazel x

Nancy January 16, 2018 - 4:53 pm

I was never in sync with my peers….I always heard a “different drummer”….
Today, having had yet another birthday, I think I have learned to enjoy the special moments….
I am lucky….my husband and I enjoy each other’s company and can take the days as they come. We cherish the moments that come…such as our grandson who would rather come to our house and play….
Life we learned is full of surprises…some not as good as others…Hubby is undergoing treatment for bladder cancer….things such as this emphasize how important small triumphs are and family. Sometimes we think it might be nice to move away from this busy city we live in to go somewhere slower….but our grown children are here as are the grandchildren…that holds us back. Isn’t it nice to have a grandchild call you on FaceTime to ask you a question?? It’s precious.
Best part of getting older…learning to slow down and smell the roses…it can all change in the blink of an eye.
Let the others rush about on their schedules…

susana January 16, 2018 - 5:22 pm

Dear Sharon,
Your inviting letter was so lovely and I was delighted for all the replays you received and shared with me too.No,I did not have new year resolution for quite a long years, but as I read all this letters full of hope and warm sincerely written thoughts I suddenly get such a encouragement for living a little longer.I am 71,retired nurse since last year and my heart sunken since then because a ceased to believe that life is good if one doesn’t feel in the centre of activity as a professional.There is more to life I know but I have forgotten.
Have a lovely 2018.

Marilyn Lowe January 16, 2018 - 6:20 pm

I am 71 next month and struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of my husband in August last year. But I will take each day as it comes and learn to live my life on my terms. His death has unsettled more than me, some neighbours are considering moving back to their roots. I am not making any momentous decisions until my body and soul have regained their equilibrium. That regaining is my aim for the year.

Sandra January 16, 2018 - 7:50 pm

Hi Sharon, when I read my comments from yesterday I couldn’t help feel embarrassed by my spelling and some confusing thought process going on. I was laying on the couch at the time with ice on my knee and some heavy duty drugs after going through a knee replacement a week and a half ago. You might say I was in La la land. I just wanted to tell you I love your blog, enjoy your beautiful pictures and let you know you are an inspiration to all of us.

Amelia January 17, 2018 - 12:01 am

Hello Sharon,
Your post finds me at a turning point in my life as so far as my frame of mind. I’m 54, have been in the corporate world for 23 years and am counting down my remaining 2-3 years. Resolutions are a thing of the past but after many anxiety/stress filled years I have resolved to put the worry behind me and replace it with a joie de vivre! I don’t know if it’s because I see the light at the end of the (work) tunnel, getting over the menopause hump (haha!), or a weariness of all the negativity around us these days. So far so good even though my co-workers think I’m being Polly Positive! While once dreaming of the days I no longer had to go to a job that is not always satisfying and spending days how I please, I have started to think what I shall do/work in my “retirement”. It would be something I find pleasurable or something that helps people or the state of the world. I am continually inspired by women like you and wonder if there is some variation I could invent for myself. Always enjoy your post!

Stéphanie, France January 17, 2018 - 8:01 am

De part et d’autre de l’ocean, les mêmes sentiments et préoccupations nous animent : protéger les nôtres et leur héritage, avoir de l’indulgence pour ce monde en œuvrant pour qu’il s’améliore, continuer à rêver avec la beauté en partage. Bonne Année à toutes et à tous !

victoria silva January 17, 2018 - 3:46 pm

I am 64 and am so focused on doing what I love…and helping others live a more natural and balanced life…through my teachings of living by the seasons…and keeping traditions alive. Last year I went back to school…to become a clinical herbalist…and have started my own line of herbal teas that I have named Tea Traditions. I feel like I have a purpose…and so love what I do. I personally have never been one to spend my free time…going to lunches and such…but understand that many love this aspect of their lives. You are never to old or too anything to reinvent yourself…love what you do…or make your dreams come true.

xxxx Victoria

Judy Wadsworth January 17, 2018 - 4:42 pm

So thrilled to read about many of us being believers and that our Lord helps us with every day . Each one is a precious gift to be savored . Enjoying nature and helping others has been a wonderful way to enjoy my life – 70 never looked so good!

Love your stories Sharon!

Carolyn Withers January 17, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Well said, Alice

Julie Purdey Kyabram Australia January 19, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Dear Sharon, I too have been an avid reader of your blog for many years and a follower of your instagram posts. I am amazed at how many beautiful replies you have had to this particular blog, it has really touched people’s hearts. I also thought about the question you asked. I am 68 and this year my husband and I will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We are moving from our country town where we’ve spent all those years to “downsize” to an apartment in the inner city close to our children. A big move. A new adventure. But, as last year I was diagnosed with a brain tumour which could have killed me….. I have a fresh chance at life and have loads of plans for life in the big city! What do they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Janice Rivenburg January 20, 2018 - 3:56 am

Dear Sharon,

First of all, I want to thank you so very much for your beautiful blogs that I so thoroughly enjoy!

My humble advice to you is to follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. It’s not necessary to be in sync with your friends. It is the quality of time you spend with them, not the quantity of time. I speak from experience.

As for me, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I evaluate and make adjustments in my life all throughout the year. Each morning I meditate and pray before starting my day and this helps me to grow spiritually while keeping me grounded.
I don’t let negative news or negative people get me down. I’m just happy to be alive and give thanks to God each and every day. Remember, each day is a new beginning!

I try to go green and respect and preserve nature and the environment as much as I can. I sign petitions related to this as well.

Again, do what makes YOU happy, not what you think you should be doing at your age, and don’t be afraid to make changes when you feel inclined to do so.

Happy New Year and God Bless!!!

Pam January 20, 2018 - 8:09 pm

I do make resolutions and this year I will continue to work on not procrastinating (happy to say since last year I’ve seen much improvement). I also want to be more generous and mindful of all I have to be thankful for in my life. And finally I want to start reading more again, so to help that along I retired my TV to a closet on December 29. Just finished my first book for the year this morning. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2018.

Dana February 1, 2018 - 2:58 am

I think this is a dilemma of many our age. My friends and I thought that at this stage of life, empty nest, 55 plus, that we would be in a place to spend even more time together doing all the things we love to do. But many of our lives have not become as planned. In some ways better, and in some ways much more difficult with great heartache.

The irony of the changes though is that those living a life of leisure, have an admiration, even some envy, for those that are pursuing new careers and adventures and feel as if maybe they are the ones missing out on something better.

The most important thing is to support one another, even if we only have limited time together.

My resolution this year is staying connected, with friends, family and acquaintances. I don’t have the time or energy I used to have, but I am making the effort to stay connected in what ever way I can.

Judi Castille February 1, 2018 - 4:36 pm

I loved having my own business and I believe there is a limit to having coffee, shopping, playing tennis as fulfilment. Business is fulfilling as long as it makes your heart race. I am in transition now and changing my career path, but not for a life of leisure. I still want to have that daily demand on me and in between will find time for socializing. Balance is the best way. Resolutions help the planning, but the unknown is also fun.

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