Around this time every year, in between the urgency of the Christmas shopping and the expectations of the upcoming new year, we start having thoughts of resolutions and we start making plans on how to ring in the new year. One thing’s for sure, whether you’re someone who quietly ushers in the new year in church or someone who loves to go out with a bang, in the end, we all end up basically in the same place, counting down the seconds to midnight and screaming “Happy New Year!”
But this time isn’t just about looking forward, it’s also about looking back and reflecting and celebrating the things that have gone right during the year. It’s also about identifying the things that could use some change. Recently my friend sent me an article proposing some questions for us to ask ourselves during this process of reflection. Here is where my reflections of the last year led me.
01 – One Word that Sums Up the Last Year?
The word for me is “renewal”. This year was the first time I really felt a little relief from the “suffocating” hold of the Covid Pandemic. Believe me I know we’re not totally in the clear, but for the first time in almost two and a half years I finally feel like we are making some progress in breaking through that once seemingly insurmountable barrier of sickness and fear. This year I travelled, I partied, I dined, and yes, I attended church up live and in person. Yep, renewal is right, and it felt like I had gotten the stamp of approval on a renewed lease on life.
02 – Biggest Gift Received in 2022?
In light of the first answer, I would have to say freedom. Guarded freedom, but freedom, nonetheless. There is such a thing, right?
03 – Biggest Learning the Year has Brought You?
Everything changes eventually. It doesn’t matter what we’re going through, good or bad, it will change. We just have to be open to change when it comes and accept it. It is up to us to use these changes as opportunities for growth and development, both inside and outside of ourselves.
04 – How Can You Use this Learning to Move Forward in Life?
Knowing things eventually change helps me to not be complacent when times are good and on the other hand, it helps me to be better at not stressing the small stuff or even the big ones for that matter. Most importantly though, I try to make sure my sons are aware of that fact. Young people sometimes have the tendency to be unrealistic and easily disappointed. I try to make them understand, nothing in life is guaranteed. We get better by celebrating our successes and learning from our challenges and losses.
05 – What Would You Acknowledge Yourself for This Year?
Growth, strength, resilience, faith, charity and perseverance, too much?
06 – What Would You Like 2023 to be About?
I could use a lot more selflessness and a whole lot less selfishness next year. Over the past few years people have become mean spirited and self-indulgent. I think we could all use a little more empathy, kindness and tolerance in 2023.
These are my thoughts upon reflection, I’d love to hear yours!