Either by choice or our cultural environment, this time of year, we look back at the last year and look forward to the next. We start to think about how we would like next year to be different, better, and our lives to be improved. We will make a list either on paper or at least mentally in our heads, of the things we want to look back on in twelve months and be pleased. However, we will also be aware that by the third week of January, for many, those resolutions will already be assigned to the dust bin of history. If those resolutions are built on sound foundations, not only do you increase the chance of success, but you will have foundations that will last a lifetime.
Yesterday, at 5pm, my mother's cousin died aged ninety-one. With only three days to Christmas, it is a reminder that no matter how much we like to imagine, we only have so many celebrations and family gatherings allotted to us. Let us remember to make it a good one.
When life gets a little tough, I take time out in my garden. I find it calms the spirit and invigorates the soul. It is a constant reminder of the cycles of life and difficult times are a mere speck of dust in universal time. Life given the chance will always win out, as will joy and happiness. Enjoy…
December 31st is the usual time to write articles that look back at the recent year and reflect on any learnings, worthwhile adventures, or promises made or unmade. However, since I wrote the article Time for Action and Contemplation back in October, my mind has been focused on what the year has meant and what next year may bring. As I have mentioned to many friends over this year, a week is a long time in CovidLand, and I feel this year, for the most part, has closed already. Yet, it still may have a few surprises left. However, it is time to start the process of what it has meant to ourselves and how we may use its events and happenings to advance our lives into the next year and beyond. Something's to think about - Enjoy.
“He who remains silent is deemed to have granted his consent — or so the old tenet goes. So will we remain silent, or will we speak up loud and clear and truthfully?”
I had that sinking feeling that I was facing a problem not of my making but my responsibility. Barack Obama once remarked as president, all the straightforward decisions with good outcomes were always made before any got to him. So he was always left with difficult choices that no one wanted to make — often with no possible good outcome.
When we watch a movie about a hero who stands up to authority and puts it all on the line to create a better life, we all imagine that we are that hero. But, unfortunately, history shows that, more likely, we will fall short of that mark.
The clock is ticking, we are running headlong into the party period of the year. How do we start now to set up next year to be a great year?
Over the last couple of years, it has been easy for us to focus on all the things we cannot or are unable to do; yet we have all lived each of those days, and what we have done with them can still bring us joy. They can remind us of what is essential to living a good life.
On January the 1st, 2017, I sat down to read the first page of The Daily Stoic. A book that features 366 meditations on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living. The first day held a quote that summarised everything I’d learnt in the previous twenty-five years. So simple, powerful yet can change a life, The ideas written nearly 2000 years ago contained inside are helpful at any time, but now more than ever - Enjoy.