The end of any year often brings with it a lot of self reflection. What did I accomplish this past year? What do I want the next year of my life to look like? In general, how do I think I’m doing in making progress down that road toward the sometimes mythically seeming ‘person I want to be’?
Sometimes I find these periods of self-reflection helpful, and other times they leave me feeling a bit depressed and sad. Really, how well the process goes depends on how honest I am with myself, and how willing I am to be reflective without being punishingly self-critical.
2012 for me was fun, disappointing, happy, sad, scary, comfortable, joyous and depressing. I think that’s the way the year went for a lot of people. I spent a lot of time looking for happiness and peacefulness in my life, in a world where both of those things can seem really hard to find at times. Along the way, I learned some new things in 2012 that helped me, and may help you.
I learned that living fully in the moment is always better for me that trying to spend those moments thinking about what might be someday.
I learned that I’m happiest – really and truly – when I’m doing something with my time and resources that helps others in some way.
I learned that it’s a good thing to be honest – to not be afraid to say what you think and feel – but at the same time, it’s sometimes very wise to know when to simply let something go for the sake of a relationship.
I learned that happiness will be as elusive as you let it. None of us are who we were last year. None of us will be who we are now next year. We’re always changing. That’s ok.
I learned that you really do have to make a conscious choice to be positive and happy. The world we live in will fight you tooth and nail, so it’s important not to be its unwitting ally with your attitude.
I learned that sometimes people have a perception of who you are, and sometimes there’s nothing you’ll ever be able to do to change that, so you have to let it go and be ok with it.
I learned that you can’t make everybody happy, but you’re not going to make anybody happy if you’re not happy with yourself.
I am ready for 2013. I don’t say good riddance to 2012. 2012 taught me a lot about myself and where I am in life. I didn’t always enjoy every moment, but I tried to learn from them and smile even at the tough lessons.
I hope that as 2013 begins, I can remember what I’ve learned in 2012, and build on those lessons so that each day of the new year I end the day a little better friend, father, companion, man.
What did you learn?