I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

At one of my early Midlife Divorce Recovery Bootcamps, the first presenter, Dr. Barrie Arachtingi, made a comment that made everyone laugh, but it made me think, too. She said certain hormone activity in the middle of life has a beneficial effect. It makes us less concerned about what people think! That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

For most of us, much of our lifetime efforts have been built around pleasing others and doing what we needed to do for other people … our wasbands, our children, now maybe our aging parents. We are instructed in many religious systems to help others; and we should! But let’s do things because we truly want to … not because we are trying to please everybody.

In these few hours left before the new year, let’s decide that we’re going please ourselves whatever it is we are doing. Let’s do things next year because we want to, or we think they’re good for us. Make our “to do” list a list of WANT TOs, not HAVE TOs.

2014 can be a brand-new opportunity to shape our lives like WE want, not how someone else expects us to. Our children are hopefully becoming more independent, and it would help them, (and our family and friends as well) to see us boldly, enthusiastically embark on a new dream.

Don’t become selfish or self-centered. That’s not you. That’s not how you were designed to be. But become aware of what a strong, incredible (and fun!) woman you really are … a compassionate, competent woman who is going to fulfill your own bright purpose in the world. Ironically, most everyone will be impressed by that — and they’ll be encouraged to find their own purpose, too.

LET’S MAKE 2014 A YEAR OF DECIDING WHAT WE WANT AND TAKING ACTIONS EVERY DAY TO GET US THERE and stop worrying so much about what everyone else wants us or needs us to be. It will be good for us and for everyone who loves us and wants us to get better.

“The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Matthew 10:12-14 (The Message)

A couple of days ago, one of the women in the MDRcommunity started a post about “My (Our) Own Happy Book.” She wrote down some things that make her happy and challenged other women in the Community to add to the list. Here are just a few that might get your own juices going: Bright red berries on the bushes along the walking trail; Split peas turning to a hearty mush as they simmer in the broth of the leftover Christmas ham bone; the joy that bubbles up in my heart when I write a few lines of code, open it in the browser, and something beautiful happens; I am grateful for a warm house to live in and that my sister lives near enough to drop by and visit; I’m thankful that I was raised to be a good person and to think of others; each new sunrise makes me happy and makes my soul peaceful; I’m happy to be able to do things I haven’t been allowed to do; I thank God for the smell of cilantro I was washing and for the clean water to wash it with; the wonder of the Internet that allows me to play Scrabble any time of the day or night against a worthy opponent; the freedom to choose happiness.

The list keeps growing! 2014 is our year to choose things that make us happy! Those things will probably be good things that make others happy, too!

If you haven’t already, go to www.MDRcommunity.com and join us in creating a full and abundant life! Together, we’re stronger, and we move forward faster. Getting other resources at www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com will help, too. This is the time to do things for yourself. If you want to start your own RADiCAL support group in your area, go to www.radicalrecovery.org or call me at 816-941-4911 and we can help you get started.