You know what I love about New Year’s Eve? The fact that it’s the ultimate clean slate. The mother of fresh starts.
I don’t do resolutions any more but on those last days of December I do think a lot about WHO I want to be (or continue to be) the following year. I think about how I want my life to feel and how I want to fill up my days. I think about how I can be of significance to my community, how I can be a force of good.
So with that in mind, here are my New Year’s wishes for us all …
- May we remember that the BIG HAPPY LIFE we are chasing is so often made up of small moments of joy rather than big ticket achievements. It’s the coffees with friends, the board game with your nieces and nephews, the watering of the plants, the cup of tea and a great book on the couch that are the trail to a contented life. The small, happy life, as New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks wrote about in May, can be as fulfilling as any other. (Google “David Brooks Small Happy Life 2015” to read his article).
- May we remember to stay in our own lane. Let’s stop worrying about what everyone else is doing — we’re all on different paths, we all have different dreams and ideas and ways of seeing the world. When it comes to the trivialities of life – let’s mind our own business and focus on what we’re doing and not worry about what that other mother is feeding her kids or what that father is doing with his son’s English homework. WHO CARES? Just keep swimming and stay in your own lane.
- May we take a leaf out of Cinderella’s book and allow our theme for 2016 to be “Courage and Kindness”. After all, it takes courage to be your real self, your authentic self in this world that tries to cajole you into being anything but. It takes courage to stand up to bullying, to step in when injustice is being done to someone else, to admit your flaws and to dig deep and work on your self. It takes courage to ask for help. To forgive. To let go and move on. To question your motives BEFORE you lash out. It takes courage to be positive in a world that currently adores cynicism and snark. And kindness? Well the world could do with a little more kindness in 2016.
- May we spend more time creating instead of commenting. Grab a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s wonderful non-fiction book Big Magic and whether you’re a small business owner, a poet, a builder, a traveller, a cook or anything in between she is there to remind all of us to pour more of our energies into building and doing and seeing and tasting rather than commenting (often negatively!) on what others have done. Write. Sing. Build. Bake. Design. Plan. Sew. Creating nourishes your soul.
- May we each be able to say at the end of 2016 that someone else on this earth is breathing easier because we were here. In 2016 donate your old clothes, your time, your no-longer-needed cot or stereo or bike. Donate money. Donate your services. Whatever you choose, let’s all make it an aim that one person’s life is changed for the better because of us in 2016. Signing up to Givit.org.au is a great start.
- And finally however this year played out for you – for better or for worse – know that 2016 is a new year, a fresh start, to be who you want to be.
Bec tells teenagers what she wants them to know. Post continues below.
Thanks for all your words of encouragement and support in 2015. Thanks for the debates, the discussions and the laughs. I wish for each of you everything I could possibly wish for myself in 2016: contentment, a sense of fulfilment, the feeling of being loved and muchos, muchos joy. Oh and a good book (or 20) to read!