I don’t know about you but when New Year’s Day falls on any day other than a Monday, I struggle to see it as the ‘fresh start-first day’ of the new year. It’s just the way I function – I like my clean slate to start on a Monday.
So, as I sit here trying to consume the mountain of chocolate products I was given for Christmas prior to my actual fresh start tomorrow, I’m trying to set a few resolutions for myself that are a little more realistic than ‘stop eating chocolate’, ‘stop forgetting to take your make-up off’ and ‘stop being human’. Ok so the last one hasn’t ever exactly been a resolution of mine but it has manifested itself in various forms of resolution that are quite simply unrealistic to maintain.
As part of this arduous resolution making, it’s always good to look back on the past year to see where you could have done with a few tweaks. What challenges did you face? What triumphs did you experience? Where did you fall down unexpectedly? Without making a martyr of myself, my 2012 didn’t feel like an easy one. It involved heart ache, bereavement, frustration, anger and some of the deepest sadness I’ve ever experienced to date. This isn’t a sob story, more of a reflection on how these experiences have impacted my outlook and formed part of how I would like to approach this new year.
You see, all the feelings I mention here are merely part of life. Some people have a beautiful capability of accepting that straight away and, given that I haven’t exactly been wrapped up in cotton wool for my whole life, I usually adopted the same kind of resilience to crumbling. But last year was different and I struggled more than I have before to pick myself up. It is only in hindsight that I see what a beautiful experience struggling can be. I can sit and pick at all the things I didn’t exactly handle the best way and all the things I could have said or done differently for hours, days even. If self criticism was a profession I think I could get promoted on a regular basis BUT, as Bruce Wayne’s father says (yes I am about to quote Batman Begins) “…and why do we fall Bruce? So we can pick ourselves up again.”
Our failures, defeats and darkest moments are just a means of breaking us down to rebuild ourselves into a better, and hopefully, wiser version of our previous self. Or so I like to think so. So if you’re looking back on your 2012 in a similar light, try to remember that in some of your darkest moments, some of your greatest and most beautiful lessons were learnt and that is a truly indispensable education if ever there was one.
Let’s not also forget that between those dark moments, there were also some pretty great ones. For some reason, this past year my mind has furiously been focusing on the bad things which is dangerous territory. So from a discovery made by a very dear and wise friend of mine I have decided to keep a 2013 jar of all my good memories and here it is:
The aim of the jar: To write down every lovely thing that happens in 2013, no matter how small, and pop it inside. Then on New Year’s eve next year, you open the jar so that your mind, no matter how defiant, is set on all the wonderful things that have happened, to give thanks for that and everything in between that (including the bad bits) and be ready to move on to the next year without the emotional baggage of the last.
Sure it’s easier said than done, and I have by no means mastered it but if this can bring a little light and hope to your 2013 I will be a happy girl.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful boyfriend and my absolutely amazing friends and family – I would be truly lost without you and I am ever grateful that I have you.
Happiest of a Happy New Year to you all!