Living the Sweet Life: Think and Do

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and

Hey there Sweet Lifers! It’s been a year that I doubt any of us will forget anytime soon. We have learned how to do so many things differently. If there was one word to describe 2020, I would say “transformation” is it.

Going forward we will find ourselves irreversibly changed in what is important to us, how we see our world. In many ways, we will find ourselves better and happier for having gone through this. I no longer have psoriasis, which has plagued me for over twenty years. Why has it disappeared? No one knows, but I am glad it is gone. Many of you no longer need to drive to work and might actually be realizing that working from home is a lot more productive than sitting in traffic – safer too – and allows you more quality time to spend with your children, your cat and your spouse. Here’s a few things I want you to “think and do” this month as we all prepare for what will be a wonderful new year.

Think: I know it seems daunting, but think about planting a garden, and it does not have to be a big one. There’s something really wholesome in planting seeds, getting outside and caring for them as they turn into plants and then nourishment for you and your family. Getting dirty is good for your soul, and it’s an excellent lesson in patience.

Do: Create a reading list of both the classics and best sellers, and block off time to sit with a good book, and enjoy everything that escape has to offer. Read to your children, too and teach them that time with a good book is better than time spent on a video game or binge watching a television program.

Think: Make this year the one you finally clean up and organize your life. Take your calendar for 2021 and block off each month with a focus on only one part of your home. Take your time and enjoy the process of decluttering and deciding what things bring you joy and what things no longer serve you. Make gift boxes of the things that no longer belong to you and find a friend who would enjoy them.

Do: Place an emphasis on learning something new. Perhaps it’s a certification or a deeper dive of knowledge on a subject that you have always been interested in but never made the time to accomplish mastery. Maybe it’s a hobby that you have collected the items to do, but they found themselves in a box in the closet never to be seen again. Make this year a productive one personally for you.

Think: Think about your estate and your family’s legacy. If you have not made a will, get in touch with those who can help you. There are many resources available to walk you through the process, and it’s not hard – it’s simply stuff we never like to think about or do. Taking that a step further and consider meeting with a funeral business and getting in writing everything that you want to happen when the time comes. I can tell you the difference for a family that is planned and prepared versus one who avoided these matters is a vastly different experience as I have experienced both. Giving your family this is a gift, and it will bring peace to you and those you love.

Do: As part of your daily life, consider keeping a journal. Since I have decided that this year was NOT the one for my 30-year anniversary, I will be writing sweet Brian a love letter each day in the year of 2021 to celebrate our life together. These memoirs and observations will become a book for him to unwrap as we gather a year from now. You could do this for yourself, for your parents and of course, what a treasure when written for each of your children!

Mostly, I encourage you to reflect and relax as we end this whirl of madness and disruption and decidedly plan your life purposefully and thoughtfully during this time of expectations for a brand new year. It will be a great one because we together have consciously decided it to be so!

Take Care of You,