With the New Year looming before us, thoughts often turn to resolutions for the year ahead. What a shame that we sometimes forget that every day presents us with new opportunities to reinvent ourselves and reshape our lives. Satisfied with the status quo, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of our day-to-day existence, we can become complacent until a life event — birth, illness, retirement, death, change of job status — forces reinvention upon us. These occurrences present themselves with greater frequency as we head into mid-life and planning now is the key to navigating them successfully later.
AARP has developed the Life Reimagined Project, “a simple and smart approach to rediscovering what’s truly important so you can finally start doing what you really want to.” The Project includes an interactive website http://lifereimagined.aarp.org/ where visitors can explore career and lifestyle possibilities with experts, life coaches and people like you who want to optimize their lives. Emmy-award winning journalist Jane Pauley will spotlight people who are reimagining their lives, creating possibilities for their futures and pursuing their dreams in exclusive monthly reports on the Today Show.
In a recent report, Pauley visited with three divorcees, Louise Machinist, Jean McQuillen and Karen Bush, from Mt. Lebanon, PA who created their own communal living arrangement, an intentional community, when they decided to purchase a home together. They were friendly acquaintances who met at church. Their decision to pool their resources to purchase the house has enabled them to “live large within a small community.” The women are saving money, having fun and supporting each other thanks to their innovative approach to housing and interpretation of the word community. Their blueprint for success can be found in their new book, My House, Our House.
Take time now to consider your goals for the future. Consult with a care management expert and empower yourself by finalizing necessary life preparations:
- Review your finances – savings, expenses, retirement funds
- Create a Will
- Assign a Power of Attorney
- Assign a Durable Power of Attorney
- File an Advance Directive
- Understand your options
Once the plan is in place, spread your wings and soar! Give yourself a gift this holiday season and visit the Life Reimagined Project website. Read Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities by Richard Leider and Alan Webber. Travel, go back to school, pick-up a new hobby… set a goal and go for it! Don’t wait for the New Year. Don’t wait another minute. Be resolute: seize the day and all the tomorrows that follow.
By MaryPat Scorzetti