As I mentioned earlier, this post will be my article for the newspaper/magazine I write for each month. I'm supposed to have the service column, but seriously - they let me write whatever I want to write about. You wouldn't think it would be tough to come up with 12 different columns a year, but after many years of writing, it's getting tougher.
Adios 2013, I’m ready to see the back of you. I can’t remember wishing away a year quite as much as I have 2013. Well, not since I was a little kid wanting Christmas to hurry up and get here. This year, however, I’m ready to have 2013 behind me and welcome 2014 with open arms. I’ve had this attitude of, “Just-let-2014-get-here-and-it-will-all-be-ok.” I long for a fresh start, clean slate, and new year.
As I was discussing my thoughts on 2013, it was like all the bad things from the year came to mind. And trust me, 2013 brought with it plenty of negative drama – enough to hold me over until 2015, in my opinion. Those events seem to create big dark stormy clouds over the sunny days, making it hard to remember the good things of the year.
In preparation for Thanksgiving, I pulled out my thankful journal and refreshed my memory on the things I’d prayed for and thanked God for over the past year. I reread the worries and sadness, the fears and concerns – but I also saw all these great things that have happened and were forgotten in the drama.
Why are we like that as humans? It’s like we are predisposed to elevate the negative and forget the positive? It’s like we give the bad things in life power over us, impacting our happiness, our health and our mental well-being. Kind of a crazy way to live life and not a really pleasurable one, if you ask me.
Each year I take one word to apply to my life in an effort to concentrate on one aspect of improvement. The first year, I chose “Appreciation.” I did pretty well at implementing appreciation into my everyday life. I started a Thankful Journal, was more conscientious about thanking people and sending notes. Several years later, I feel like it’s more ingrained in me to be appreciative in general.
Every year after that was a colossal failure. Every word I chose just got tossed to the wayside and nothing changed. I even tried changing words mid-year once, thinking that would help jump start me into changing my ways. Nope. It got tossed aside, too.
This year, as I welcome 2014 with open arms, I’m returning to the basics of “Appreciation,” with a bit of a twist.
We all have drama in our lives. Sometimes our drama is silly and blown out of proportion. It doesn’t stand up to the test of, “Is this really going to matter in 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 years??” You know the type of drama I’m talking about. Running late, the store is out of your favorite comfort food, your husband bought the wrong kind of shampoo kind of drama. It’s ok. Life isn’t going to be impacted drastically by this type of drama. Take a deep breath and put it into perspective.
Then there is the other kind of drama that is DRAMA with a capital D. Yes, it is going to matter in 5 minutes, 5 days and 5 years. Life is changed in a serious way for the foreseeable future. Maybe forever. It’s never going to be the same. There aren’t words to address this kind of drama. Maybe your heart aches, you grieve, you are swamped with sadness and sorrow. You worry. You are scared. Your anxiety is shooting off the charts and it’s with good reason. But even this drama must be put into perspective.
It’s with this in mind that I am bringing back my word, “Appreciation.” Or “Thankfulness.” Life is going to happen. Sometimes life is more difficult than other times but regardless, it’s only made worse without appreciating the good things. Was 2013 a rough one? Yup. But it was also a beautiful one with so many blessed memories and moments. It’s so wrong to let the bad drama blank out all the precious moments and gifts the year brought to me and my family. So 2013, thank you for innumerable blessings that outnumber the bad 1,000 to 1. If 2014 brings me half as many good things, I’ll still be blessed beyond measure.
Merry Christmas to all the YC Magazine readers and I am wishing you a very happy 2014! Thanks for joining me each month and I wish a million good things for you in the New Year.