My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving series is Shirley Corder from ‘Write to Inspire’. I met Shirley through a Facebook group and enjoy reading her posts which are always inspirational and informative. Shirley has certainly had her share of difficulties in life but always has a grateful attitude to life.
When Shirley sent me her contribution she mentioned a Two Thousand and Eighteen gift challenge. I had no idea what she meant but after reading her thoughts on Over 50 & Thriving I can see that we should all perhaps take up the challenge! Don’t forget to visit and connect with Shirley through the links at the end of this article.
What is the two thousand and eighteen gift challenge? Are you up for it?
When Sue first asked me to do a guest post on the topic, Over 50 and Thriving, my immediate reaction was, “Yes, sure. I can do that.” After all, I’m over 50. Way, way over 50 actually. And I’m thriving.
If you asked my surgeon over 20 years ago how long I would thrive, he would have been pretty negative. I had just had surgery for breast cancer with spread to the glands, and the pathology results came back bad. As in very bad. I’m sure he meant well when he said, “You’re going to ask me how long you have.” But I didn’t take it well. I retorted, “No. That’s not your department. You were asked to remove the tumor. How long I live is in Someone Else’s hand.”
I just knew that if he told me how many years or months I would live, my mind would go into countdown mode, and in no time I would be ready to die. 12 months later, at my first annual checkup, he shook me by the hand. “Congratulations!”
“What for?” I asked, bewildered.
“You’ve lasted a year. I didn’t think you would.”
I was more than glad I hadn’t allowed him to give me a projection! He died some years ago, but I celebrated my 20th Canniversary two months back.
THRIVING IN THE FACE OF DISEASE
So when I came to write this post, my first thought was, “I’ve survived and I’ve thrived after cancer.” And to a degree, that’s true. I went in to the cancer journey as a registered nurse. After a year of tough treatment and side effects, I emerged and became a full-time writer and, eventually, a published author. Life has been good, most of the time. But can I really say I’ve thrived?
Like us all, I’ve had my ups and downs, and there have been occasions I would have replied, “Yes, I’m thriving now!” But it didn’t last. I needed to find a way to become, not only a survivor, but also a thriver.
Towards the end of last year, I was challenged through the words of another South African author, Dalene Reyburn. She guest-blogged for me on the topic, Christmas Every Day. In her post, she described a challenge she followed in 2013. She set herself the goal of finding 2013, yes two-thousand-and-thirteen, “gifts” for which she was grateful before the end of the year. She not only achieved her goal, she discovered it changed her whole attitude to life. She kept looking around for things to give thanks for.
THRIVING IN A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE
I identified with what she said. At my well-over-fifty age, I found it all too easy to see the gloomy side of life. People my age are all too quick to see what others should do, don’t do, won’t do, and don’t think you should do. Wherever I looked, I spotted things that made me mad or depressed, or just plain critical.
So I decided it was time to make a change, and I set out with a goal for 2018. By the end of the year, I plan to have two-thousand-and-eighteen “gifts” that I’ve said thank you for. No repeats allowed.
I followed Dalene’s idea and broke the 2018 up into weeks then days. I discovered in order to reach 2018, I had to list 39 items a week, approximately 6 per day. It seems totally doable.
I have post-it notes all over my home with pens available, so each time I spot something good, I jot it down. Each time I’m going to work on my computer I gather the pieces of paper and add them to a blog post which grows during the week. Each Thursday, I post a Thankful Thursday article containing at least 39 “gifts” during the week.
THRIVING WITH OTHERS
I asked Sue to write a guest blog for me explaining link parties. After reading her article and exchanging a few emails with her, I enrolled with inlinkz and set up my first-ever link party. At time of writing, this has only been going for two weeks, and I’ve only had a few sign-ups to the actual party, but that’s not important. What really matters is the number of folk who are following the adventure with me.
Several are doing the challenge the same way as me, blogging and aiming at 2,018 by the end of the year. Some are creating their lists on Facebook. One person is doing hers during her devotional time and so keeping it private. Another lady is storing hers on a file on her laptop, while yet one other has limited herself to one thanks a day. Nevertheless, I’m encouraged by the number of people who are following the idea of giving thanks, even if they are not bloggers.
THRIVING AND MOVING FORWARD
I can see that the more thankful I become, the more I will thrive in my attitudes, my relationships, and the way I approach life. If you haven’t already caught the idea, do take a look at my Thankful Thursday thread and give yourself a chance to thrive in 2018!
So thank you, Sue, for the invitation to share what I think of when I see the word, Thrive. Right now I see the word Thankfulness which is my word for the year. No matter the circumstances, I can always find something to say thank you for!
Now where’s my nearest post-it pad?
Thank you, Lord, for Sue and her vision for blogging. Thank you for prompting her to coin the phrase, Over Fifty and Thriving. Thank you that I’m over 50. Way, way over 50. And thank you that she invited me to do this guest blog.
See how easy that was? Four gifts without thinking about it.
Oh yes, and thank you that others I’ll never meet will read these words, and hopefully some will be challenged to join in and thrive in this year, 2018.
Christmas Every Day: https://shirleycorder.com/christmas-every-day/
Thankful Thursday: https://shirleycorder.com/series/thankful-thursday/
Shirley Corder is a retired registered nurse, pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and author. She lives near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. Published internationally, Shirley is the author of “Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer” (Revell/Baker 2012) and is contributing author to eleven other books to date. She is currently producing a series of eBooks on women in the Bible who are seen under the shadow of another person or location. She plans to convert these to print in the coming year.
CONNECT WITH SHIRLEY
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