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Cute boots, huh?

Cute boots, huh?

Explaining the meaning of life...

Explaining the meaning of life…

By Melissa Flynn

It’s 2013 and I’m still moving on. What about you?

Whatever you are doing, please tell me that you didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. Please tell me that you didn’t write down that you wanted to lose weight and dump that loser.

Instead let’s all make a list of life goals. Then every year, I want you all to review and revise those goals. It’s all about retrospection and redesign.

Recently, I did one of my “Moving On” workshops at a local church. I preached the same thing to them—forget resolutions and concentrate on the bigger picture.

My sister Halima has an interesting idea of rebooting that I also shared with the group. At the beginning of each year, she cleans the house, stocks up on all supplies and toiletries, and even backs up her computer. It’s all a bit more than I want to do, but I like the idea. Feel free to read more about her ideas on her blog. (halimaflynn.blogspot.com)

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt to reboot, reorganize or re-evaluate our lives—especially for those times when we feel like we are hitting a wall. It’s like that saying that I have repeated to my son over and over. “If you keep doing something and it isn’t working, then try something different.”

Sometimes when we try to move on, no matter what we do it does not work. That means it is time to re-evaluate—revise your course of action.

I explained my notion of retrospection to the church group. But I also added that we must all pull together and help one another. As I talked, I saw a smile and a nod, here and there. Being presumptuous, as I tend to be, I took those expressions and body language to mean that they agreed and understood.

My talk continued, as it usually does, with me going on and on about my trials and tribulations. I decided to move on from my mess and reach out to help others. (FYI: Helping others helps you. Helping you helps others.) And as many do, I struggle along the way. No matter how great my determination, life doesn’t always work out as planned. I conjure up inspiration wherever I can: a Psalm, a MLK Jr. Speech, The Presidential Inauguration, and maybe even a glance from my mother’s picture in my office.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

These and many other words, help me maintain my balance. The world needs more beacons of hope and inspiration—people who are willing and able to spread the word that it is never too late to get your life on track. I have decided to be such a person. So if you need a bit of inspiration for any cause, send me a note: movingontoinspire@gmail.com.

If you have a group who needs inspiration, send me a note. If you need a coach to keep you on track, send me a note. Even if you just want to say hi, send me a note.

We all find ways to cope with what life throws at us. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are not very healthy. I can give you some tips to find healthier ones. And in the meantime, I want you all to do two things for me.

 Make a list of goals
 Then get up every day and work towards those goals

And at the end, it is not important whether or not you complete those goals. What are most important are the journey and the people you meet along the way.

To reiterate, forget the making of New Year’s resolutions. According to the definition, resolutions could look a lot like goals. That I can agree with; just don’t wait until January 1st to try and push yourself towards succeeding within the next twelve months. Sit down and set some short and long-term goals for your life. Then be realistic about the things you need to do in order to reach those goals.

And in order to stay focused, I want you all to copy these things down and repeat them regularly.

 I AM SOMEBODY
 WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY
 WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER, THAT’S HOW COMMUNITIES GROW
 I WILL IDENTIFY MY FEARS
 I WILL OVERCOME MY FEARS
 I WILL STAY FOCUSED
 I WILL BE A LEADER
 I WILL BE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL CHILDREN
 I WILL HELP MY NEIGHBORS

As I put this down on paper for you, I was remembering a couple of things: that movie “Pay It Forward” and Ann Curry’s 26 acts of kindness campaign.

So let’s move on and make the most of our time.

“LIFE WAS SIMPLER WHEN I HAD NO TEETH”

Me with no teeth

By Melissa Flynn

I’ve decided to move on without teeth. Confused? Yeah, it’s just that I’m no good with them. As a child, I could eat whatever I wanted, open bottles and miss a floss here and there without my teeth falling out.

You are probably wondering what I am talking about. I feel like it was just last month that I bit into that gummi bear and heard a crunch—actually it was about 6 months ago. The other day, I went into the refrigerator for a drink. I thought, “Mmm, cold Cranberry Ginger ale, this is going to be good.” Little did I know, but my strength was not what it used to be.

So, there I was twisting and turning. I was, as they say, giving it the ‘ole college try. Yet, still no luck. So, I figured I could just twist it with my teeth. Crunch. Crackle. And no, it wasn’t the cereal with the commercial that goes Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I looked at the bottle top and there was a crack. Okay. No worries. The next thing I knew, it felt like there was a small pebble on my tongue. Shit. It was a piece of my tooth.

Needless to say, I now have another reason to see the dentist. I hate going to the dentist. First, there is the fact that it always hurts more after they are done. Second, I’m usually at least $500 poorer once I leave. Seeing that this tooth is in the front of my mouth, I’ve decided to let it go for a while. For the next few weeks or so, I will be eating oatmeal, soup, apple sauce, bread and maybe a stiff drink here and there. And if anyone knows a good, cheap—okay, not cheap, but inexpensive—dentist…

I wish someone had told me that dealing with life’s issues would be this hard, especially when you don’t have any dental insurance. And, as many may be, I am waiting to see how the new medical reform will help my situation.

Personally, I think my situation is hopeless. Is there a medical plan that allows you to do a full body scan for all broken bones and torn ligaments and tendons? If so, I need that. Is there a medical plan that allows me to see every type of doctor that is out there? Okay, because I will probably need that also. I might sound a bit dramatic. I really could use a vacation. So, if anyone has any free tickets to anywhere outside of the Northeastern region, I want to go. I really need to get away from me. That reminds me.

About a month ago, I came to the conclusion that we all need to reboot every once and a while. And people, I am not talking about rebooting your computers. Whether or not it is a spa day, a dinner out or a movie with a friend, we all must remember that sometimes it is good to get away from ourselves.

So, as I, once again, watched an October storm make its mark, I put together a new list of priorities.

October 2012’s New List of Priorities

  • Spend some time taking care of me
  • Write
  • Read
  • Spend more time taking care  of me
  • Reboot
  • Work on business plan
  • Put together marketing plan
  • Spend more time taking care of me
  • Reboot
  • Spend even more time taking care of me

I’m sure you can see the theme here. Many people, like me, have a habit of staying so focused on trying to accomplish something in life that we forget to do things to take care of ourselves. For example, even on the days that I can afford to eat :), I many times forget to eat. I’m always so concerned with how I’m going to pay my bills. This economy has even forced me to think about how I will survive at 65 or 70 years old.  That used to be the least of my concerns. But, being single, I realized I needed to start planning.

So, in between taking care of me—eating, sleeping more, getting a Mani/Pedi, going on a vacation with you, and going to a movie sometime—and rebooting–I also have to figure out who gets all my books when I am gone.

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get older—just to be able to make my own choices. If I knew that meant I was going to have to pay my own bills and take the car to get an oil change, I would have told my mom that I didn’t want to get older. I’m not sure that was an option, but a girl can dream.

So, here I am in 2012. I wake up every day, and I keep trying to make things work. No matter what life throws at me, I will keep ‘moving on’ to bigger and better things. You can ask why, if you’re curious. And I will tell you, “Because that’s what we women do.” So, as soon as I get this tooth taken care of, I will try that rebooting thing and get back to you. And, if any of you have time to try it before then, please let me know how it works out.