The end of the year is always a good time to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the previous twelve months. Usually, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions as we recall the laughter, tears and everything in between. But it’s also a great opportunity to learn from our mistakes; a lesson in life that should not be ignored.
It’s easy to recall the big things – a milestone birthday, the death of a close friend, perhaps a new job – but don’t forget to remind yourself of the little things too. These things have probably influenced your decisions and your moods throughout the year and have the power to do the same throughout the next year too.
Most of us have a smart phone these days so it’s easy to scroll through our photographs and relive those moments. Remember the art exhibition where you promised yourself you would start to paint? Or the fabulous sunset when you wished for a better camera? Not forgetting the trip to the cinema when you vowed to take a trip to Sydney or London. Sometimes our hopes and dreams get buried under the weight of our everyday routine but it’s important to take action and make things happen.
Most of us make New Year Resolutions. Admittedly, not all of them are successful. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve vowed to learn to speak French but have never improved beyond the text book basics learnt at school. Others, however, I’ve managed to achieve and have ticked them off my list with a big, satisfied grin.
So, what does 2018 have in store?
From my own personal point of view, a trip to New York is a must. I’ve been lucky enough to visit this incredible city on more than one occasion, each trip more memorable than the last. However, it’s been almost ten years since my last visit and my American relatives are not getting any younger. Neither, for that matter, am I. So it’s time to touch base and catch up with those special people who live far away. It’s a trip that’s long overdue and one I’m looking forward to immensely.
I’ve also vowed to finish writing my book. This project has been on the back-burner for a while but as I said earlier, life just gets in the way. However, if this novel is ever going to be finished I need to stop procrastinating and start writing. It’s easy to find excuses but at the end of day, it isn’t going to write itself. I have a story worth telling, so tell it I shall.
One thing’s for sure, I’m not short of inspiration. Wherever I look, I’m surrounded by beauty. Be it nature, people, culture or architecture, there’s wonder and marvel around every corner. I’ve often tried to capture these sights on camera but as much as I love my trusty smart phone, it’s not the tool for serious photography. I’ve often wished for a camera capable of capturing those magical moments; those unforgettable sunsets, human imperfections, building shades and textures, even the contours of the moon. Perhaps 2018 is the year to invest in the right camera and progress from snapping amateur pictures to taking ‘proper’ photographs.
Healthy eating is one of our most common New Year Resolutions. I do try to keep fit and healthy. I walk every day, I swim once or twice a week and I avoid takeaways and fatty foods. I do sometimes give in to temptation and succumb to a strawberry tart or a slice of carrot cake (I am human after all) but most of the time I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to diet and exercise – although I know for a fact I don’t drink enough water. I’m a firm believer that ‘you are what you eat’ so fruit and vegetables get the green light over chips and cakes. Having said that, I should probably cut down on the cheese!
Another thing that becomes evident when looking back is that people come and go. It’s certainly true in my case, living away from home, that you learn who your friends are. True friends remain true no matter how far away they are. Others, however, show their true colours and let you down at a time when you need them most. Maybe 2018 is the year to recognise those who have supported you, loved you and, more importantly, never forgotten you. Going forward I shall certainly concentrate on those who have proven themselves to be true friends and forget about the selfish few with an agenda all of their own. Thinking back over the last twelve months (and beyond) there are a number of so-called friends who have let me down, disregarded our friendship or simply walked away. Life’s too short to worry about those who are only interested in themselves. It’s time to move on.
It’s actually quite liberating to realise that you no longer care what certain people think. You are free to live your life as you choose, do what you want to do, dress how you want to dress and spend time with people you care about. If you want to paint, then paint. If you want to act, then act. There really is nothing stopping you from doing that one thing that you really want to do.
It’s a new year, so why not a new you?< Back