New Year, New Possibilities

beautiful beach day in Oregon
Monsieur, Tilde and I spent the last day of 2017 on a sunny Oregon coast. We woke to clear skies, frosty rooftops and slippery pavement. After rainy, windy coastal weather, we were delighted to see the blue skies.
Our room overlooks the golf course.
We've moved south to Salishan Golf Resort at Gleneden Beach. Although Monsieur is no longer
golfing, we enjoy the peaceful forest and the proximity to the beach. Tilde, who is now two years 
old, has proven to be a great travel dog. She is happy to run on the leash-free beaches, chase balls and sleep beside the fireplace. 

Since last Christmas when we went to Puerto Vallarta and Tilde was so unhappy in a kennel, we have decided that when we travel together, Tilde must be included. About 50% of travel accommodation will accept dogs, usually at an additional cost. There is an agreement to be signed that dogs are not left unattended in the unit and that owners clean up after their pets on the grounds. These rules seem reasonable to me.

I wonder what this new year will bring. It is the fifth year anniversary of my blog and of my father's death. I feel my own mortality at almost 66 years of age in a way that I did not feel 5 years ago.
I also feel a responsibility for my own life and happiness.

The other night, I listened to a podcast by Chade Meng Tan, a former Google employee, who advocates finding "a slice of joy"  in our daily activities. Older adults, according to studies, are able to develop this skill with practise and consequently are able to weather life circumstances better. I, for example, could savour having a warm lapdog as I read and feel free of other thoughts or worries for a time. The more often that I conjure up happy experiences, the more able I will be to banish anxiety.

Watching Tilde play soccer always brings me joy.

To many questions, there are no answers. We can choose to act or not act. We can accept our circumstances, change them or change our minds about them. The burden of so many possibilities is a heavy one but if for a few minutes every day, we can find the joy, perhaps 2018 will be a different year,