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Life on repeat
Stuff 'n Nonsense 5-8-24

Maybe it’s a package deal when you hit your 50s that you start taking stock of your life in ways that you didn’t have the emotional intelligence, experience, or wisdom to examine too closely when you were younger.

As it happened for me, one morning I woke up and realized I’d been living my life on the same cycle: wash, rinse, repeat.

Same hurts, same frustrations, same rut.

I didn’t like it.

So, I went inward and took stock of how I was playing into the cycle — how was I contributing to the very thing I was beginning to despise. The thing that was curdling all of the amazing parts of myself that made me special.

Creatively, I felt stagnant.

Emotionally, I felt spent.

Physically, I felt broken.

Then, I took a good, hard look in the mirror and asked myself, “How can I make meaningful changes that will improve my quality of life?”

Once I asked the question, I looked honestly and realistically at the ways I was being my own problem.

The mirror is humbling yet healing.

The saying, “Our secrets keep us sick,” popped into my head, and I realized fear is part of that loop.

Fearing change will keep you rooted in agony because it seems better than the alternative.

The thing is, people get it twisted about what it takes to change.

Start where you are — start as small as you need. Consistency is key.

Small changes add up to big changes, and before you know it, you’ve made meaningful strides in the direction you want to go.

My journey to uncover the person I’d buried years ago has revealed incredible aspects of myself that I’d forgotten existed.

Success isn’t linear — personal improvement isn’t a race.

Each day I find a win, sometimes big, sometimes small.

The other day at the gym, I did a walking wall plank. I haven’t done anything close to a handstand, cartwheel, or anything that puts me upside down and holding my own weight in close to 35 years.

I didn’t do it perfectly.

I laughed nearly the entire time I was upside down.

And I was so proud of myself.

With each step forward, I inch toward the person I know I can be — creatively, emotionally, physically — and I’m showing up for the journey.

The point of life isn’t to be perfect, but a well-lived life is filled with opportunities to evolve, grow, and to embrace the best versions of ourselves.

Stagnant water will kill you.

A stagnant life will do the same.

Is it time to ask yourself: Are you living your life on repeat?

And if so, what are you going to do about it?


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at