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January 20, 2022 - By Joy Reed Belt

"Untitled" by Moriah Gonzales

Three things happened this week that have given me renewed optimism about finding a successful path to an interesting and vibrant future. First, a foundation board on which I have agreed to serve requested an updated biography. Drafting that summary reminded me of the long winding path my life has taken. It reminded me of the difficulties and challenges I had to overcome. Second, I received a fourth quarter earnings report from a banker I know on which he had handwritten, “I don’t know what normal is anymore, but I am looking forward.” That sentence reminded me that in this rapidly changing world, one of the most valuable skills we can develop is to be change skilled. And Thirdly, the publishers, Simon and Schuster, sent me information about a new book written by a New York University Professor, Dr. Wendy Suzuki titled, “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion.” A blurb about the book states: “Anxiety is uncomfortable, but it is also essential for our survival. In fact, it is a key component of our ability to live optimally. Every emotion we experience has an evolutionary purpose, and anxiety is designed to draw attention to vulnerability. If we simply approach it as something to avoid, get rid of, or dampen, we actually miss an opportunity to improve our lives.”

"Untitled (Water and Clouds, Hawaii) by Brett Weston

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to find a clear trouble free path to health and happiness. Our lives have and continue to be threatened both physically and mentally on a daily basis. We don’t have unlimited access to our friends and family or to other forms of self renewal. Things we took for granted like attending sporting games, the movies or eating out in restaurants have been on the chopping block of caution. But how much certainty did I have all those years ago when I graduated from high school? Or, from college or graduate school? Maybe my tolerance for risk has eroded somewhat as I have aged. But I know if I am to continue to evolve, I have to embrace change. “Hello Future, here I come.”

"Oklahoma Schoolhouse in the Mountains" by Jim Keffer


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