Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New Year: A Chance to Re-set

I love New Years. Like so many of life's phenomena, I see it as a metaphor for the mediation process. It's a chance to change our paths, review and re-do bad decisions, look towards the future. It's a chance to take stock of what worked and didn't, and to make up our minds to make things better in the future. One of my favorite messages of the New Year came from my friend and colleague, Deborah Rothman, who advocated for abandoning "The Bucket List" (of dreams yet unfulfilled) for "The F**k It List" (giving up those hopes that are never to be realized). It's a gentle surrender, and yet one that is so liberating!
To that end, there was an interesting article this morning in the New York Times by Barbara Strauch about Adult Learning, called "How to Train the Aging Brain". There is good news: "The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help it's owner recognize patterns, and as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can." So there's my chance to "reset": a good consolation for another year of age: I begin to see the "big picture" faster--and even can glean a solution to the biggest challenges that lie ahead. Now if I could just figure out the technical re-set mechanism...

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