Let’s Talk About the R Word

I decided many years ago that if I felt compelled to make RESOLUTIONS at the beginning of a new year, the last one must have sucked and things need to change. I also gave up on having a WOTY (word of the year) as I believe that I have my act together for the most part and don’t need that subtle guidance anymore. It took some work to get there, and I still have to pay close attention to the nuances of the ‘balanced living’ philosophy that I embrace.

In a nutshell, Mind, Body, and Spirit are the components of balanced living and, all of the things that I have determined to be important for my well-being are included within. Things like fitness, lifelong learning, quiet time, healthy eating, social time, family, work, financial responsibility, and creative pursuits are all sub-categories under the corresponding heading. Each sub-category is broken down even further into specific activities. In years past, I outlined what my version of balanced living looks like in a journal and used my written words as an accountability partner as I worked toward achieving goals and becoming my whole SELF. After a while, balanced living became a habit and I intuitively knew when things needed tending.

So What Changed?

The past year didn’t suck, in fact, it was better than expected. All I have to do is flip back through ninety pages of my new Shutterfly book to see evidence of a beautiful year. But, what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside are at odds, and I feel the need for a re-boot, a WOTY, a resolution or two, or maybe just a hard look at how things got off track.

The impetus, of course, was change. Change on a monumental scale, (albeit self-imposed) and I have not fully recovered. In fact, when I started to peel away the layers of my discontent, one major component of my ‘balanced’ lifestyle was missing – quiet time. It isn’t like I haven’t been in this situation before, but I was much younger then and could clear my head and regain balance with nothing more than a good workout! It isn’t that easy these days and I find myself longing for a deserted island. So what’s a gal to do?

Getting Back to Basics

When you think about it, resolutions really are just solutions that haven’t been realized. And, a WOTY can be a guiding light, especially when it writes itself on your mind day after day. For the past week, the word MORE has appeared over and over as I evaluate the components of balanced living from the inside. More what?

For me, that means more quiet, contemplative time, more exercise (endorphins), and more creative pursuits.

I have been experimenting daily with specific solutions within each of those areas and already feel as if I am returning to my SELF.

How About You?

What feeds your contentment will look very different than mine. Some of you may identify with ‘intentional living’, or ‘mindful living’ but it all comes down to tending the parts of you that make up the whole. How you do that is up to you. So, what are your plans for the next year? Resolutions, WOTY or just wing it?

Whatever you do and wherever you go, Malcolm and I wish you the very best for 2022. May we all know peace, experience joy, and live the life we imagine to the fullest. Thank you for following Picture Retirement and for being a part of our journey.

All the best, Malcolm and Suzanne

30 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the R Word

  1. Hi Suzanne – I had MORE as my WOTY a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it for a similar reason – it was about finding the balance between what I needed more of and less of. On Monday I’m sharing my 2022 WOTY (I don’t make resolutions – too easy to let them slide away). This year I’m going with a really fun and breezy word because I need to just enjoy the year (my first in my 60’s) and I just couldn’t be bothered with anything too deep. I hope you’ll be sharing how your word inspires you in the months ahead. Happy new year!

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    1. Hi Leanne, I find that resolutions, at least thinking about them, help me to identify the real issues and narrow my focus. Otherwise, as you said, they slide away. I look forward to hearing your word for 2022. The first year of your 60’s should be fun!. Happy New Year

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  2. Suzanne,
    Thanks for starting the year with something to think about!

    The older I get, the more grateful I am for good health and the ability to keep moving. I hope to do more to remain that way. My motto is “Do as much as I can…while I still can!” We hit the road on January 12. My goal for 2022 is to have Easin’ Along honored with a spot in your blogging community. (Can’t believe I did that!). All the best to you and Malcolm for a fabulous 2022! Joe

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      1. Okay, I need help and you two have to explain this to me. I expanded my blogroll from showing 35 to showing 50 and you both now appear on the sidebar. I am assuming the blogs I have followed recently appear on the top and push others down. Is there a way to reverse this? Can I pick and choose the ones to display? How can I get them to display in rows of 4 or 5? Two rows fill too much space which is why I was displaying names only before I changed my theme two weeks ago. Joe, my apologies. I didn’t realize you were a WP blog. It looks way too professional to be a template.

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  3. Ha, ha, and my goal is to learn to display a blog photo that isn’t on WordPress! Teach me how to do that and you’re in! I actually contacted WP last week when I changed my theme begging for a way to set my display to reflect ‘most frequent interactions’ but it can’t be done. Anyway, thanks for the chuckle, and good luck on the road. We are heading to Montage at Palmetto Bluff on the 18th for a short stay and to celebrate Malcolm’s bday. Will take a detour to the Panhandle to visit my brother and family. Excited to get moving…..

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  4. I am still trying to decide what I want this year to look like. Lose a little weight, exercise a little more, feed my soul with good literature and more prayer. Make new friends – over the past few years most of mine have relocated to be nearer family or living their dream in a new location. I would also love to get a better handle on writing in this newer version of Word Press. Ugh!!
    My husband and I will be enjoying a few days at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville next week and I am hoping I can choose a word for this new year to sum up what I really want to achieve or accomplish. In the meantime, I am looking forward to this new year and wish you many blessings in 2022!

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    1. All of the things you mention make sense to me. This is the first year I have added ‘lose weight’ to my list of things to accomplish in quite a while. I am learning that aging makes it harder to keep that under control. Prayer and good literature are always a good idea and who couldn’t use another good friend. As for mastering WP, just be patient with yourself and it will come. I’m still learning, but am much more comfortable than I was a year ago. Enjoy your time at the Grove Park Inn. It is a lovely place. I hope you will add ‘blog more often to your list of things to do this new year. I enjoy reading your stories of life. Happy New Year!

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  5. I haven’t made resolutions for ages either and I’ve never had a WOTY. I do like More, though (although I have a few lesses too – less stuff, less stress, less unvaccinated people, etc.). As crazy as things are right now, I am looking forward to the year ahead. Fingers crossed that we will be able to travel a bit more and connect with others more freely. Happy New Year to you and Malcolm!

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    1. Hi Janis, I could do with ‘less’ too – less hysteria, less ignorance, less polarization. My antidote to all that noise is solitude and I definitely need MORE of that. I too am hopeful about travel in the year ahead. We have bookings abroad for September and a couple of short road trips coming up soon. Maybe this will be the year that the dust will settle….Happy New Year!

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  6. Oh how I can relate to your statement “What’s on the outside and what’s on the inside are at odds, and I feel the need for a re-boot, a WOTY, a resolution or two, or maybe just a hard look at how things got off track.”

    Something like that has been bubbling inside of me as well and yesterday – the last day of the year – I felt super emotional and had a hard thought about why I was feeling the way I did. I concluded: not enough me-time. I had counted on four weeks of that in Phoenix and our plans changed. Ha, more change! I need peace and quiet time as well and this is so hard to get when living 24/7 together with your spouse in 100 square feet.

    Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what’s missing and what we need more of. You are a perfect example of introspection, Suzanne, and of finding ways to feel better. I like your WOTY. Your New Year’s wish includes Donna’s word (peace) and mine (joy), so many of us seem to strive for similar things in 2022!

    Happy new year to you and Malcolm!

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  7. Liesbet, I think so many of us are ‘battle weary’ if you know what I mean. The past two years have attacked our spirits in unimaginable ways and trying to keep it together has become hard. You and I got tipped into overload around the same time, and for very similar reasons, just under different circumstances. With so many people longing for peace, I know we are not alone in our thinking. I’m already feeling better and I’m sure you are too. Deep breath, feet forward! 2022 is going to be a great year!

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  8. I gave up resolutions a long time ago (because they make me feel bad, LOL). But I am definitely on board with setting intentions. Somehow that feels more positive to me. I’ve been feeling very scattered this last couple of years, so my intention is to pay attention to one thing at a time instead of constant multi-tasking.

    Wishing you all the best in 2022, including more quiet time, more creative time, more exercise, and everything else that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.

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  9. Hi Suzanne, MORE is a great WOTY and I really understand where you are coming from. One year I had BALANCE as my WOTY and to me that is the key. Finding balance in all areas of life. I don’t make resolutions anymore but I do like having a focus, hence my WOTY which is BE. Simple but I think the perfect word for me and I think it ties in with your word is some ways. Wishing you MORE of everything that brings health and happiness to your life in 2022. xx

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    1. Sue, I listened to a podcast from Smart Living 365 this afternoon, and Kathy and Thom have chosen LIVE and Surrender. Their words, along with yours (BE) and Donna’s (Peace) sound like a lot of us are longing for calm. I hope we are projecting all that positive energy into the universe and someone out there is listening! Happy New Year!

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  10. Mindful living – that is definitely a goal that I concur with. Commitment to regular practice is much better than a resolution made on a whim one day and hten forgotten the next. Sending you lots of positive intentions and balance in 2022 from Australia.

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  11. Interesting to hear your reasons for not doing a WOTY in the past… you articulated (much better than I’ve done!) why I’m not having a WOTY this year. I’m leaning into my own “balanced” framework, which, like yours, kinda has it all … for me anyway. If anything, I’m “living with Intent”. 🙂

    Happy new year!

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    1. Pat, I used a ‘list driven’ approach for many years and detailed very specific goals under Mind, Body, Spirit. I no longer feel the need to be that precise, but we experienced a transition this past year that shifted my balance. I look forward to getting back on track and continuing forward. Hopefully, 2022 will be smooth sailing…. Best wishes for an ‘intentional’ good year.

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  12. I don’t make NY resolutions but I do pick a Word of the Year to use as a touchstone throughout the year. This year my word is ENJOY. I/we may not be able to do all that we want to because of covid-19 but I figure I’ll be intentional about enjoying that which I can. Sounds a bit cornball, but I mean it sincerely.

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  13. Hi Suzanne! I know I am dreadfully late and getting to your blog and throwing my thoughts into the ring. But I am definitely one of those people who benefits from doing a WOTY mainly because when I pick the right word for me I use it over and over (like a touchstone) to remind me of a concept or idea that I really hope/intend to experience more of in the year ahead. I’m sure if it was held as loosely as most people pick their “resolutions” it would have little power or effect. But I’ve had very good results and plan to keep it up as long as it continues to do it. And I think your explanations for why “more” seems right to you will all help you keep it front and center all year long. Happy New Year to your and Malcom and may your WOTY be everything MORE you hope to experience. ~Kathy

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  14. Hi Kathy, it is always nice to hear from you, regardless of the timing. You are right in saying that a WOTY can’t be ‘held loosely’, which is why it makes more sense than resolutions. My word started revealing itself a few months before I finally settled on it and is exactly what I needed to wade through the mud that I have felt bogged down in lately. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for the year.

    I loved the vlog that you and Thom made explaining the words you each chose. You two are an inspiration for SMART living.

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