Everyone is so busy getting ready for 2014, or the future, that they have forgotten the year that just flew by us all. Before you make your list of New Year resolutions or buy a planner for the New Year, it is also important to look at 2013 or the ‘Old Year.’
What did 2013 mean to you?
Since we are all making lists anyway, here’s one more you can and should make. Divide the paper and label one column as good and the other as bad. However, this is not where you list down all the good and bad things you did this year. Instead, write down every good, or happy memory, and then the unhappy memories.
Maybe you found a new job this year. Met some amazing people. Read quite a number of good books. Spent quality time with your family. Managed to work but also have fun too. All the events you attended; concerts, meet ups, parties. Add all the memories to the list. It would be easier to go month by month. What happened in January, February and March and so on.
However, we must not forget the downs in life too. The sad memories are what make us appreciate life more and they too must be listed next to the happy memories. The death of a loved one, how friends became strangers, disappointments and all that made you want to escape life. Jot them all down, and like before, it would be easier if you go month by month.
Finally, you would have a list that would tell you how good or bad the year was. If the happy memories outweigh the sad memories, you have a reason to celebrate. You can start the next year with excitement and hope. You can be happy about everything you achieved and learnt during the year.
However, if the cards life dealt you weren’t that good, there’s still a way to learn from the year without losing hope. Think about your struggles, every little thing that went wrong. For one, you have a reason to be proud because you survived all that. While other people would have given up, you kept going forward. You kept hoping and dreaming. When others sympathize, don’t silently accept their pity. Look in their eyes and say, “I will survive this.”
You can also use the sad memories to make the coming year better. You will be wiser and since you know the reasons behind the sad memories and struggles, you can work towards not making the same mistakes again. This side of the list will make you realize who your real friends are and what your strengths are.
The list will in the end prove that 2013 wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. Or that it wasn’t as useless or boring as it seemed. Every year holds something special for us. Every year is one of change, challenges and ups and downs. Without forgetting who you are, either because you feel you are an overachiever or worse, an underachiever, look back at the year and learn from it.