And Here We All Are, Still Standing

So if you’re reading this, I suppose that means you’ve escaped the Mayan fate. You’re still here. We all are. Woohoo. I hope you didn’t give your treasured stuff away.

Now what?

That’s a serious question. We’re closing out a year and ushering in a new one shortly. The way I see it, the whole Mayan sensation gave us another chance to reflect, to take stock in 2012 as we bring in 2013.

Even an exercise or game conducted in sheer fun and frivolity around this can be revealing. Want to do some exploring? You decide how serious you want to be about it and just see what emerges.

Questions abound.

Did the possibility of the world ending nag at you even a little? If so, were you skittish about checking out now? Was there a part of you that couldn’t believe you’d die without trying ______ ? What was in the blank?

Another way of looking at it is, is there something you’d do differently with this new (sort of) lease on life? If the answer is no, that’s pretty wonderful. Or maybe it’s limiting or complacent. You know in your gut which it is, right?

This doesn’t have to be huge, like a career change or relocation. It could be so simple.

What brings you joy? Can you incorporate it more?

Perhaps before you pass through this life you’d like to see the Mona Lisa, the Grand Canyon, a tiny island in the Mediterranean. These are things that enrich and broaden. You can’t believe you felt for years you’d be a great party planner and you never did anything about it. You never joined a band. The guitar languished for years. Nobody said you had to be Clapton. Only Clapton is Clapton. You didn’t make time. Something stopped you.

Figure out what that is. Change it now.

There are so many ways to go here. Small shifts that feel enormous when put in play.

Strengthen your friendships. Stand up for a cause you find worthy. Spend more time with your child, even if said ‘child’ is now 35 years old. Learn how to make really good margaritas. Invite people over more often. (Those last two could be linked nicely.)

Use the good china. Wear the good perfume. What in God’s name are you saving those designer boots for?

Stop using paper plates because ‘real’ ones feel better. Start using paper plates because it would free up time for other things after dinner.

This is your life. Customize it. Use the Mayan calendar hoopla to your advantage.

A column I wrote recently about choosing a college major sparked an awful lot of response centered on practicality vs. following our gifts. For authentic living, we must also honor whichever of those most calls us. They’re not always mutually exclusive, of course, but the practical-minded will typically not be happy letting each day take them and those intent on following their passion need more than assurance of a paycheck to feel like they’re living well.

These are the kinds of questions that help us understand ourselves and others. The answers to them give life flow and order.

What do you have the power to change if that is indeed your desire?

Too stubborn? Pause a little more often and see if you can determine what’s hanging you up. Sometimes I hear myself and think, why are you so set in your ways on this? Give in once in a while. If you’re neat as a pin, try letting your hair down and be with that. If your home has no order, tackle a drawer or a corner and feel the tranquility of that simple task done.

But hey, don’t let me stop you if you have loftier ideas. The Mayans were predicting doom and you were, say, anxiety-ridden over how you chose the absolute wrong path – career, spouse, geographical location, etc. Let’s hit re-start here. Completely clean slate. What does the emerging picture look like? What action can you take today to manifest your vision? How about next week? How close could you come in a year if you stay at it?

Earlier I made note of your treasured stuff. Well, about that … let’s take a look. Are you bogged down in it? Or delighted by most of it?

That might be the only question you need to answer. Run with the metaphor. It’s a heck of a starting point.

Nancy Colasurdo is a practicing life coach and freelance writer. Her Web site is and you can follow her on Twitter @nancola. Please direct all questions/comments to