This New Year I would like to tell you, my readers, that I will be 96 by the end of the year. I feel very motherly or should I say grandmotherly towards you. I want you to do well. Be healthy. Live intelligently. By this I mean that you should live your life, in order that by the end of your life you will not have too many regrets nor too much remorse.
Go everywhere in the world so that by the time you’re my age, you will be happy to stay home as there would be no more places needing to be explored.
Get to know a large variety of people from different countries, different beliefs, different politics, different religious, and different persuasions.
Read everything, both fiction and non-fiction, from academic journals to health magazines. Become broadly knowledgeable from the latest on technology to the current research on nutrition.
Take classes. Practice new skills. Learn new songs and dance steps.
Exercise regularly. Do your Kegel exercises. Breathe deeply. Meditate. Walk in nature.
For me the meaning of life is one word: “service.” This means that if you see something that requires fixing, if you can, fix it. If you see someone needing help, go lend a helping hand. If you have an idea that may be constructive, share it. If you have an opinion different from others, speak it. If you have a special skill (whether singing or construction work), use it. If you are in a power position, share it. If you love someone, tell them. If you care for someone, show it. The best thing you can give your children is a social consciousness. With that their lives will be meaningful. Making others happy lights up the rewards centers of our brains. Stay open-minded about others’ beliefs and learn what motivates these people’s behaviors, as well as your own. Love with all your heart and all your being.
Life is an adventure. We are all explorers. Know what you can handle. Be both brave and cautious when necessary. There is no one in the world like you! Celebrate your uniqueness and the gifts you have to offer. Give them freely.
Pain and suffering are inevitable. Respond with the hope that the end is in sight and that solutions can be found. Enter the doors that are even a crack open. Identify the fear and then go there. Sometimes you need to follow and other times you will need to lead. Wrong answers are only vehicles for learning the right ones. You will know when you have arrived. It is a place of peace and availability. Be there for others. Always accept with gratitude those who are there for you.
This new year may not be easy following the last two years of unprecedented challenges. We will experience new COVID variants with more illnesses and deaths, hopefully with new ways to combat various viruses. Resilience will be important.
We will also continue to face unforeseeable and destructive climate changes. Unrest lingers in the world. Do your part in reducing your carbon footprints, be as green as possible. Treat everyone with respect and dignity. Become aware of your unconscious biases and prejudices and act to rectify them. Be fair. Be kind.
Best wishes, dear readers, for the year 2022. Hope some of your dreams will be fulfilled. Keep your eyes open for the next opportunity.
Your loving columnist, Natasha.
Natasha Josefowitz is the author of 21 books. She currently resides at White Sands Retirement Community in La Jolla. Copyright © 2022. Natasha Josefowitz. All rights reserved.