February 7th, 2013 | written by Nancy Larson

Looking over your personal cliff:  fiscal and otherwise!

The thought of adding to the volume of commentary already written this year on the Fiscal Cliff is enough to put any of us over the cliff of our tolerance for dealing with uncertainty.  What we do know is that the world is complicated at any age and that can be unsettling.

Sit back and take an inventory of what gives you a sense of satisfaction in your life.  Perhaps it is your home, your children, volunteering, generosity, being useful in some way.  As my mother reminds me, “The hands on the clock keep going around.” Time does not wait for anyone or anything, so we have a mandate not to waste it!  Nurture what gives you satisfaction.

My children and family are good people and that gives me a sense of satisfaction!  I also get a sense of satisfaction from helping someone work through a problem and come to resolution.  That seems to be an accomplishment that in one small way “uncomplicates” the world.  None of this, however, is done in isolation. Many good things come about through some form of collaborating, either by talking things through or by a coming together of a critical mass of information and life experience that results in seeing things in a different light.  That different light gives us an epiphany, an “ah-ha moment,” in which we can now find our way to resolution.

Take another inventory:  What is unresolved in your life? What stirs through your head at midnight, but doesn’t get resolved by morning’s first light?  Do something positive to interrupt the pattern and resolve the situation.  Having more information and input from a discrete supportive person brings fresh perspective and clarity.  Reach out as needed for information and support from trusted family, friends, clergy, counselors, and attorneys.

My mother was my first teacher.  Lesson one being:  life is innately good, but it is tough.  Since life is inevitably challenging, we have to live life without complicating it more than it already is. As you look over your own personal cliff (and financial cliff, for that matter) know there will be some days that are more challenging than others.  Take care of what you can today so your head will be clear for the next challenge that presents itself.

A familiar story comes to mind as we focus on what we choose to nurture in this life.  A grandfather says to his grandson, “There are two wolves at war in my heart.  One is kind and the other is vicious.” “Which one will win?” asks the grandson.  The grandfather replies, “The one that I feed.”

This year, choose to feed thoughts and actions that nurture you.

(Submitted to BND, Feb. 2012)