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6 Things to Quit in 2020

As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

The Scott Sisters

The Scott Sisters

New Year, New Decade

With the new year and new decade approaching, it is a time of reflection and introspection. I usually spend the last week of the year by trying to plan my next year’s activities and goals. However, this year I find there are a few things I would like to quit doing. Sure, I’d like to lose a few pounds but that isn’t top on my list. Instead, I have listed things that are of far more importance and longer reaching effects. Here are a few things I would like to quit in 2020.

1. Trying to please everyone.

2. Fearing change.

3. Living in the past.

4. Overthinking.

5. Being afraid to be different.

6. Thinking I'm not good enough.

6-things-to-quit-in

Quit Trying To Please Everyone

I’m a passive sort and usually find myself trying to be a people pleaser. It has been a constant annoyance for me because it cannot be done. You never please everyone. As a matter of fact, by trying to please everyone, you please no one, not even yourself. I took a painting into a gallery for display and the gallery owner told me that she would never hang it in her gallery (nor any of my work) because I used too much color and no one could decorate around that much color. I went home thinking I should change how I paint. Later I realized that trying to please the gallery owner would mean I would be painting work that didn’t please me and diminished my passion. It showed in the work too. I never want to do that again.

Fear of Change

Fear of Change

Trying to please everyone is a recipe for stress, misery and frustration. Be yourself. It'll be good to know who's down with that.

— Anonymous

Quit Fearing Change

I guess I’m not alone in the fear of change. I like being comfortable and living in the familiar. However, nothing stays the same. Every morning I look in the mirror and wonder what happened. That’s not the girl I see in my head. I don’t really feel older than 19 but the mirror doesn’t reflect that. A couple of years ago it looked like we were going to have to move. I hate moving. The packing is no fun. Finding things you thought you lost years ago hiding in some forgotten corner is annoying and the thought of having to grope for a new route to the bathroom in the middle of the night is terrifying. I would rather eat dirt. But truthfully, change comes to us all and it is something I can’t avoid forever. I need to get over my fear of change.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Living In The Past

Etsy carries many of my paintings, some from a decade or more past. As I look through the watercolors and oils of years gone by I sometimes think I was a better artist back then. It’s a form of living in the past. With each passing year, I do different and, in some ways, better work than before, but I still like to relive past triumphs. I have many ribbons hanging on my wall from art shows where my paintings got Best of Show, First, Second, and Third Place ribbons. I should really put those away and make room for this new decade of shows and ribbons.

If you're always looking back at what you've lost, you'll never discover the treasure that lies just up ahead.

— J.E.B. Spredemann

Quit Overthinking

I don’t think I really overthink as much as I think I do. Or maybe not. I don’t just go with the flow as often as I should and it is something I should consider doing more of in the future. Sometimes my health and my husband’s health isn’t what it should be and I don’t want to start thinking the worst. I get the “what if’s” too often. It isn’t worth my meager mental effort to start thinking about doom and gloom before I have any need to.

Home Plate Collage

Home Plate Collage

Quit Being Afraid To Be Different

I belong to an awesome artist’s group called the Society of West-Coast Artists (SWA) and we meet monthly to have demonstrations, group paint-outs, discussions, fun, and fellowship. The oldest member is now 95 and a well-respected, accomplished artist. I covet his good opinion but lately, he has been needling me about veering off the traditional tracks. I am well versed in oil painting, watercolors, pen and ink, charcoal, and pastel, (all traditional mediums) but for the last decade, I have been exploring collage. It is fascinating to me and very challenging. I think I am keeping with a traditional representational bent, but my friend/peer keeps asking when I’ll get back to traditional art. I try not to let his comments shake me but the truth is that sometimes it does. Still, I have kept with the collage because I don’t think I’ve learned all there is to learn from the challenges of it. It is different, and therefore, I am being different. Yet, when you think about it, didn’t every famous artist who ever amounted to anything in fame and stature also veer off the traditional tracks and do something to different and revolutionary as to make a name for himself? Maybe there is something to this being different thing.

So you're a little weird? Work it! A little different? OWN it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!

— Mandy Hale

Quit Thinking You Are Not Good Enough

Even Michelangelo felt he wasn’t good enough at the end of his life. We all have been there. I have to daily tell myself that I don’t have to be better than this person or that person. I only have to strive to be better than the person I was yesterday. If I can keep that up, I will be happy.

Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you're worthy of the trip.

— Glenn Beck

Woman Reading Collage

Woman Reading Collage

Final Thoughts

Does any of this paint with your colors? Do you struggle with any of these also? Do you have any resolutions for the new decade? Things haven't quite turned out the way I had imagined at the beginning of 2020 but I still have things I want to improve on in myself. I don't need to change others. If I change me and make me a better person than I was yesterday, I have had a good day, week, month, year, decade. I would love to hear your thoughts and responses in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 04, 2020:

Virginia Allain,

It has been a surreal year so far and who would have guessed it back in January? I agree it is one for the history books. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 03, 2020:

Lori Colbo,

That's nice of you. It has taken many years of practice to get where I am. I draw every single day. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 02, 2020:

These are excellent ideas for starting a new year. It is unfortunate that this has been such a stressful one (2020 will go down in history), but you can still apply your goals even in these trying times.

Lori Colbo from United States on March 07, 2020:

I think you speak for many of us who have fallen into these traps. I appreciate your reflections and goals. I could watch your videos forever. I wish I could be a better artist. I love drawing but am not very good at it. I have taken drawing classes before but it seems like I am way out of the league as a good many in class. I have come to realize after a lot reading about van Gough, that it takes tons of practice. I am not more devoted to writing. I have a dear friend who is also a professional children's book illustrator. God bless you all.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 10, 2020:

Ann Carr,

I assume eventually I will get tired of collage and turn to watercolor or something, but I keep coming back to it because it is so unique. I'm so happy you like them. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Ann Carr from SW England on January 10, 2020:

Your list is a reflection of me, except for the being different one, though I only conquered that a few years ago when I realised it was fun actually trying to be different!

Actually, it was a great relief to read your thoughts. They calmed me. You have a great way of expressing life, Denise.

Although I'm not keen on doing collage I think the results can be stunning and yours certainly are. Don't ever give that up,especially just because a 95 year old says so!

I like every piece of yours we've seen on these pages. Well done!

Ann

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 03, 2020:

DominiqueCM,

I'm so happy you approve. I know these are things I need to change. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Dominique Cantin-Meaney from Montreal, Canada on January 02, 2020:

I agree with you 100%. You nailed the things that we do need to change.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 01, 2020:

Liz Westwood,

I do hope to shine a light on things we need to work on to improve ourselves. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood from UK on December 31, 2019:

I think you have touched on issues that resonate with many of us. By sharing your thoughts, you encourage others to consider what prevents them being the people they could be.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

William Kovacic,

I'm so glad you approve. They certainly resonated with me. Thanks for commetning.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

McKenna Meyers,

I'm happy you like my work. It means a lot to me. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Kelly Ann Christensen,

Thank you. I'm so happy to think you like my artwork. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Marie Flint,

You are so gracious to say you like my work. Thank you for subscribing to my YouTube channel. It means a lot to me. Thank you for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Rochelle Frank,

You make a good point about just changing my thinking is changing things. You are very encouraging.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Donna Rayne,

How very kind of you to be so encouraging. You are very sweet. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Dora Weithers,

Oh, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who overthinks like I do. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 30, 2019:

Linda Crampton,

I am glad you got something out of it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 30, 2019:

These are six things that I'm sure will resonate with many, and certainly worth quitting. Thanks for sharing them with us, Denise.

McKenna Meyers on December 29, 2019:

Denise, your art brings me such joy. What a wonderful gift you have! Thanks for sharing it.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 29, 2019:

Demas W Jasper,

I'm glad you got something out of my thoughts. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on December 29, 2019:

I was relieved to finally find an article under the topic after sorting through pages of discussions. In any case, I love your artwork. I wish you the best in 2020.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on December 29, 2019:

My first thought is that the gallery director/owner is living in the past. Too much color? What would the world be without color? I think the gallery should have a special presentation of just your work, say a two-week showing. People need to see innovative artwork, as well as traditional or classical.

This brings me to the subject of change. I think a little change gradually over time is a good thing. What's scary is when the pendulum swings too quickly, too abruptly. (I don't like moving, either, Denise--I lose too many things in doing so, and I desire deeper relationships at this stage of my life. Distance relationships just don't cut it.)

I love your work, by the way. I can tell you love doing it, otherwise you wouldn't be submerged in it. Those collages are definitely art. I will surely subscribe to your YouTube channel!

Everyone has there own personal reasons for making goals. My one goal is simply to pay more attention to my body and caring for it. This is hard for me because I'm always pulled in so many different directions. I love just about everything and am curious. "Variety is the spice of life" seems to be my tenant.

I hope your mother rediscovers her health. Tell her that you expect her to live to be 120. Blessings!

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on December 28, 2019:

Sounds like you are on a good track... you don’t like change, but you are changing your thinking in a positive way. Though it means nothing, I personally like your collages and think it is amazing that you can achieve such depth and realism in that medium.

Donna Rayne from Sparks, Nevada on December 28, 2019:

You are unique and you color your world full of all the beautiful of your soul and that comes out in your paintings, embrace it, love it and just be you, you the way you are, the way you seek out to change the things that you want in your life, to love completely with all you have to give, be happy, give smiles and that twinkle in your eye is beautiful, creating a beautiful canvas painted by your thoughts that are deep in your soul and like you for your and that you are special to God and you a worth so much more... be happy my friend and keep painting full colors, with tender words and the rest will fall into place, my friend... I love you for you!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 28, 2019:

Good counsel for those of us who have lived long enough to have a past. Of all the six things, overthinking offers the biggest struggle for me. Like the other day, I called one of my kids, and got the response. "Sorry, I can't talk now." My thoughts traveled everywhere at a million miles an hour. What a relief when I heard, "I had just sat down on the toilet when you called."

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 28, 2019:

I love your list of six things to quit in 2020, Denise. I need to follow some of your suggestions myself. Thank you for sharing them.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on December 28, 2019:

Sound advice, especially suited to "entrenched adults" and older persons who have recently lost a spouse. Nice thoughts put down and shared.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 28, 2019:

Devika Primić,

It is up to each individual. We are all different in how we handle goals and the future. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 28, 2019:

I like your tips for the New Year! I do not follow resolutions or make nay just not what I do. It is up to the individual. A Happy New Year to you

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 28, 2019:

Linda Lum,

It is good to remember that we are all unique, isn't it? You have a wonderful new year as well. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 28, 2019:

Eric Dierker,

Well, to stop doing something destructive or unproductive is sort of moving forward, isn't it? I always thought so. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on December 28, 2019:

Umar Malkh,

I am happy you like my artwork. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 28, 2019:

Denise, you and I share the same malady--it seems I'm always second-guessing myself, regretting past mistakes, bending over backwards to please others, and thinking nothing I do is quite good enough. We are our own harshest critics, don't you think?

Thank you for reminding us that we all are special, unique, and of value. I pray you have a wonderful New Year.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 28, 2019:

I do not understand quit. I move.forward. but does that mean quit? Let us take it easy, Great piece as it makes me contemplate. I got no answers.