I’ve participated in and/or overheard several conversations lately where I’ve heard the phrase, “This has been such a (fill in the blank) year. ‘I can’t wait for it to be over.” It has been a difficult year for a lot of people. It has been no picnic for me either, to be honest; but the end of this year brought me something other than the desire for a new calendar. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older (it probably has everything to do with the fact that I’m getting older) but I’m not spending my days wishing for them to be over like I used to. Time starts to be a hot commodity by age 40 or so, and I don’t want to spend the rest of mine wishing for anything other than the moment I’m in.
I’ve often been found reading old journals on New Year’s Eve. Skimming over the year’s events, I’d find myself stopping at the rough patches and reading through each of them. I did this not because I wanted to wallow in all of the bad things that happened that year but because, somehow, it reinforced the idea that I survived it all. Reading those things made me feel – stronger. A bit melancholy, but stronger.
You know what, though? That ritual is so 2011. I don’t need any more reminders of how strong I am. What I want is to be reminded of how lucky I am; how grateful I am to have this life. This is just one more reason why I’m more than ready to start our 31 Days Of Gratitude on Tuesday as part of the HL Challenge. Except I plan on continuing the practice of writing down the things I’m grateful for long after the challenge is over. I will be doing it all year long.
At the end of 2013 I’m going to go through each slip of paper, and instead of being filled with thoughts of ‘how did I ever get through that? I’m SO glad that’s over!’ I’m going to have 365 pieces of paper which will help me see that life happens the way I choose to see it. Bad things are always going to happen; it’s a sobering fact of life. Allowing the bad to overshadow the good, though….that’s simply wasteful. I love this quote by Thornton Wilder:
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
Like everyone else in those same conversations about looking forward to the New Year, I’m looking forward to certain things, myself. By actively starting to live my life in gratitude, I’m looking forward to all of the perks it will bring me: less anxiety, less stress, better eating habits, healthier self-esteem and happier days. For all of my readers, friends and family, here’s to a memorable and exhilarating 2013.