I’m not one for resolutions. They may work for some people, but that’s simply not the way I function. I like to plan ahead, but I don’t need a particular date to get me started; nor am I deluded enough in order to believe that I’m more likely to get something done just because I set my mind on it at midnight, just before another year begins…
What I like to do, however, is to look back at the year slipping away and take stock of what’s been… Was I true to myself? Did I make the best of it? Have I done my best, or at least the best I could at a particular moment? Have there been squandered opportunities? Did I learn something about myself, about the world around me? And so on… the list continues, as I’m sure it does for most of us.
As I sit here, computer on my lap and twinkling lights in a Christmas tree other than my own, I still cannot believe how fast the year flew – I get the feeling every year goes by faster and faster, no matter how you spend it. But you know what? The one that just slipped through my fingers wasn’t a bad one. It was one of those years when you can catch your breath, when you can stop, look around, evaluate and appreciate. It was not my most glamorous year, nor was it my most interesting one; it was not the most adventurous one, nor was it the most exasperating, frustrating one either. It certainly was one of the calmer ones, perhaps the calmest in a very long time. It was the kind of year I would have hated in my early twenties. It was the kind of year for which I am truly thankful now that I am well in my thirties, because I know how rare they are and how much I needed this kind of a break which I was not able to get at a different point in my life.
There have been disappointments, frustration, plans falling apart, moments when I couldn’t see a way out of certain situations – there always are, for each and every one of us. But compared to what I know life can throw at a person, this was nothing. Realising that I am content with my life, remembering this particular bit of information rather than obsessing over everything I may never have (regardless of whether I actually need it or not) is an on-going process for me, requiring constant work. But somehow, this process felt more natural in 2017. I’ve regained some perspective I wasn’t even aware I had lost many years ago. Hopefully I will be able to hold on to it. There is no photo that can truly illustrate that feeling, but I have captured moments and images which I hope will stay with me, in my mind and heart, so I could access them when I cannot see the bigger picture. I’ve already shared some of those moments with you.
Plans fall apart over night and they get put together and adjusted to fit new needs the same way, I was once more reminded, if one is stubborn enough. We don’t get everything we want or even need, but life goes on, we keep moving forward and hopefully we have the strength to not ignore what we do manage to offer ourselves. Even small victories count, we need every bit of motivation, in order to survive and even thrive during those gloomier days.
I started by mentioning somebody else’s Christmas tree. It’s been five years since I couldn’t convince myself to leave my town over the holidays, even if I do enjoy travelling. I’ve set strict rules and boundaries for myself, and for good reason. I’ve done that in many other areas of my life, not only when it comes to holiday celebration. This may have very well been the theme of 2017 – reminding myself that some boundaries can and need to be loosened in certain situations. They work well, they help us, but we need to discern when we need that sort of help and protection and when they are merely an extension of our comfort zone. So after a very nice Christmas at home, i took a very pleasant New Year’s vacation somewhere else – which is, incidentally, why my 2017 wrap-up post is somewhat late.
Of course, I cannot not nit-pick… I wish I had written more. I wish I had read more. I wish… I wish… I wish… But on the whole, in spite of everything else, mine was a year for which I can and should be thankful. I know that is not the case for everybody, the world seems to be falling apart in so many ways, so this is yet another reason to show some modesty and appreciate what I do have.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my words and for sharing your opinions for one more year! Let’s hope we all have an inspired, peaceful 2018.