A year- with its 365 days- is a great expanse of time. As it draws to an end, it is time to look back and reflect upon it. At this last dawn, as I head into 2018, I dream, plan and pin hopes for a better year ahead. The last few months have been dreary. Moments of stress and loneliness have been aplenty. Yet there were lessons learnt.
Lesson 1 : Change is a constant companion
The only thing constant in life is change. And these changes are of all kinds. Some positive ones that we welcome with open arms, some that catch us off-guard, and there are those that impact us emotionally. Over the years, I have learnt to adapt and acknowledge most of them. But, it is the emotional changes that I found hardest to adapt to. 2017 left me to deal with various feelings like, anxiety, threat, relief, joy, loneliness and optimism. As I reflect upon the year, I realize that we all encounter emotional changes in life. Coping with them requires time and patience!
Lesson 2: You could feel lonely, even if you are not really alone! And it is absolutely ok.
Living in a cantonment is one of the best things in my life. Much as I love the serenity of the place, and the wonderful fraternity I am part of, loneliness did creep into me. I wasn’t technically alone at most times. However the absence of the spouse for long duration, did create a hollow space within. I would spend most weekends at the beach with the children, amidst sandcastles and waves that lashed hard on the rocks. They soothed my mind. But, I still missed having the spouse around and, the interaction (and fights) normal couples would have on a daily basis. Thankfully the year saw me reading a whole lot of books, which helped to beat the blues and battle out the loneliness.
Lesson 3- Books are the best fodder for the mind
The mind is a muscle, and the best way to train it is to read. After experiencing a reading slump in the years before, 2017 saw me reading a great deal indeed. I turned into a greedy reader and didn’t mind experimenting various genres of books. Reading proved to be a positive change as I began to slowly look forward to those quiet moments in the day, when I would sit still with a book in hand. It boosted my morale in some unknown way, it calmed my fluctuating moods, and it did bring about a sort of renewed confidence.
Lesson 4: It isn’t worth wasting time on things that do not matter
Let’s face it. Most of us waste time on things, which actually don’t matter. And this includes what’s around us in reality, and the virtual world too. Worrying and wasting time on matters that is of least importance in our lives brings about decreased productivity and a reduced attention span. So, it isn’t really worth it. Ponder over issues, and reflect if it’s worth all that precious energy. Life is all about being yourself, and choosing to be happy the way you desire it.
Lesson 5: Travel as much as you can. It broadens horizons.
I realized travel is one of the best ways to escape from our busy schedules. December saw a lovely family holiday to Singapore and Bali. At the start of the vacation, there were worries about volcanic eruptions followed by an earthquake, resulting in a tsunami warning. Until the last moment we weren’t really sure, if we should undertake the holiday considering the known risk in Indonesia. Yet we went ahead. The holiday turned out to be a lovely experience, one that we would cherish for a lifetime. It was the perfect way to end the year. Travel teaches you much more than what you would expect. There are new experiences and new challenges en route. It teaches children to adapt and manage away from home in a land unknown. So travel as much as you can throughout your life. Surely, “You only live once”.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” – James Levin
The year comes to an end and I step forward into yet another one. Garnering renewed hope, and pinning fresh dreams, its an adieu to 2017 finally.
Linking with December 2017 Gratitude Circle bloghop at Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles