The Goal: To cultivate acceptance, wisdom and compassion for myself and others.
I vowed to slow down, give up the New York minute and embrace mindfulness.
The Grade: B+
I have slowed down. It’s too hot to rush down here, anyway. It’s also rural and requires more driving time to get to stores, restaurants, the library, etc. I’ve done a pretty good job of enjoying the scenery instead of muttering, fuming and otherwise giving in to road rage. I try to be patient and pleasant when I’m waiting in line. Once, during a long delay at the pharmacy counter, the person behind me complained and I told her I was a recovering New Yorker, trying to be accepting. Turned out she was from the NY area, too. But then, everyone here is from someplace else. I haven’t yet resumed a formal meditation practice, as I promised. But my informal practice entails floating in the pool on a noodle while admiring the palm trees and listening to the birds. And this brings presence and bliss to my life. These days, when I’m pressed to take on activities that feel burdensome or inconvenient, I remind myself that I’m retired now and my time is my own.
The Goal: To savor the beauty of our new environment.
I promised to create a lovely home, enjoy the abundant resources of our new community and spend more time outdoors, soaking up the beauty of the landscape.
The Grade: A-
The house is shaping up. After an initial burst of decorating, I’ve been getting a second wind (see the part about slowing down, above). My husband and I adore the beautiful setting of our home, on a lagoon. It’s like living on the Nature Channel. To date, I’ve seen herons, egrets, ducks, loons, hawks, hummingbirds, copperheads, alligators, turtles, amazing butterflies and dragonflies and lizards. Not to mention the palm trees, Spanish Moss, flowers and glorious Loblolly pines. I spend a lot of time outdoors and have the tan to prove it. While we haven’t ventured over to Beaufort or Savannah since we arrived (saving that for cooler weather), we’re getting to know Bluffton, including the Old Town, with its quaint shops, restaurants and farmers market on Thursday afternoons. We’ve only been over to Hilton Head Island a couple of times. Biggest reason for not giving myself a full A is that I’ve yet to make it to the beach.
The Goal: To invest in relationships.
I pledged to outgoing, sociable and open to new activities and friendships.
The Grade: B+
There are abundant opportunities to be active and social in our community and I’ve jumped into a few. I am a dues-paying member of the Haven Hot Shots (alias, Ladies Pickleball Club) and play three mornings a week. This month, I’m starting the Women’s Book Club. My husband and I joined Grapes R Us (the Wine Club) and have attended several tasting events. We also joined a cool Dining Group, where groups of eight or so meet at a host’s home for theme dinners. Each couple has an assigned recipe. We had to make Buffalo Chicken Lollies for a barbecue this month. (Don’t ask.) It’s a fun, intimate way to meet people and socialize, even if we never make the Lollies again. It’s also been easy to get to know neighbors at the pool, fitness room, etc. Where I need to push the envelope a bit is to invite folks over for more informal entertaining. (Maybe after we get window treatments…?)
To be continued next week.