Looking back on the year that can provoke a mix of emotions.
Regret, nostalgia, disappointment, maybe even anger. I find that it rarely encourages positive reflection.
Maybe that’s because we forget about the good stuff and focus on the bad. Maybe it’s because we are constantly dissatisfied — nothing we have achieved is ever enough.
But sometimes, it is because the year really was terrible.
Maybe you lost your job, or you were in a car accident, or your long-term relationship broke up, or your parent got sick, or you found out you might lose your job in the new year because of budget cuts in your unit, or you were underemployed for six months and could barely pay your rent.
All those things happened to me, one year after another over the past few years. And it was awful.
Every year I would start out optimistic, hoping for a change in circumstances, but there was always something new and crappy. Not this year.
This year I got to meet a slew of new babies made by some of the greatest people I know. Seriously, it was a baby-rush. And they are all so damn cute it almost hurts to hold them.
I got to watch my best friend marry the love of her life, which was one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. It was also not the only lovely wedding I got to attend this year, there were a few.
Some of my oldest friends achieved really significant career goals that made me so happy for them, and proud of their determination and perseverance.
I won an award for my writing, which was really cool.
I visited my favourite place in the world — New York City — and met some excellent, interesting, fun people while I was there.
I spent a lot of time working hard on friendships and was richly rewarded for it.
And, I started a really awesome new job, which I wake up every morning excited about.
Sure, I had a few setbacks and challenges, but when I think about the whole arc, I feel happy and satisfied.
I have been trying to work out what went so right for me, finally.
For the first time in a long time I let go of a lot of goals.