At this time of year when we can feel somewhat overwhelmed by all our obligations, we often start thinking, or hoping, that next year will be better. I think it is more valuable to just let everything go. Let go of any stress, negativity, hostility or perceived failure during the year and instead let the new year just unfold. You never know what’s around the corner.
That said, it’s not a bad idea to plan for the future while reflecting on the past. The problem with ‘new year’s resolutions’, as such, is that we tend to set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. It is said that most people vastly over-estimate what they can achieve in a year but vastly under-estimate what they can achieve in ten years. So think back ten years and look at all that has happened and all that you have achieved. You may think you haven’t done much but think of all the children you have had contact with and how they have benefited from being with you. Not to mention the esteem with which your colleagues hold you. And who did you meet and how did that affect you? A lot happens in ten years, even without births, deaths and marriages.
People find thinking ten years ahead too difficult, which is why they only think one year ahead. I have heard many people say they won’t study because it would have to be part-time and that would take at least six years to complete. They can’t think that far ahead. The years are going to pass anyway so why not have that degree or doctorate or whatever it was at the end of that time? There is actually nothing stopping you other than fear of the unknown.
Now is not the time for such thoughts, however. Now is the time for letting it go. We can’t think straight with too much clutter in our heads. Now is the time for gratitude for the year (we are still alive, after all) and it’s the time for celebration. Whether you perceive the year to have been good or bad it’s done now and we can still learn from the ‘bad’ experiences. Next year is a different thing entirely. It will happen soon enough.
Meantime, I wish you all a wonderful festive season and look forward to hearing from you if you’d like books, or anything else for that matter.