I have never waited as much for a year to begin as I did for you.
I have never waited as much for a year to end as I have done for you.
Dear 2017, you were not what I wanted or expected you to be. Everything that I hoped to go right passed me by and everything that had to go wrong stayed right back with me. Tragic deaths of friends, illness in the family, health scares, and more shook up my life as I know it. In other words, you epitomised my favourite quote.
Just when I knew all the answers to life’s questions, the questions changed. ~ Anonymous
And in all the disappointments, unhappiness, turbulence and heartbreak that you brought with you this year, you imparted valuable lessons. Lessons that were sometimes gentle and subtle, sometimes rammed down my throat, and sometimes delivered with a rap on my knuckles.
As your year comes to an end (and I can’t wait to bid you goodbye !), I want to sum up what you were for me with a focus on the important lessons you taught, rather than on all the negative things you brought.
Patience: I’m impatient by nature; not the foot tapping, can’t queue, look-at-the-watch type, but impatient-with-people kind of person. I can be impatient to the point of being perceived as rude and sometimes aggressive. I’m not very proud of this trait of mine and have been consciously trying deal with it by being more patient and polite with people, but haven’t really succeeded. This year wasn’t easy and there were times I snapped, leading to quite a bit of unpleasant repurcussions. I had to to try hard, very hard, to be consciously more patient, more gentle and in the process kinder not just to others, but to myself as well. It hasn’t been easy, but I hope I can maintain and persuade this new-found ‘patience’ to stay and become a part of who I am.
Friendships: I have always considered myself to be lucky where friends are concerned (touch wood !) and I deeply cherish the friendships I have. As I mentioned earlier, this year was tough and as anyone who has faced adversity will agree, support of friends matters a lot. I got support and love from the most unexpected people and indifference and silence from some friends I had assumed would be more understanding, but were not. Both set of friends have taught me invaluable lessons in friendship.
Downsizing: I have been consciously trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle in the last few years or so. I thought I was doing fairly well till I saw books spilling out of shelves and clothes I hadn’t worn in months. It was a bit of an epiphany. As I looked around my house and poked in shelves and boxes I came across stuff that hadn’t been used for the longest time and would probably never be used. That triggered off a re-evaluation of need versus want, hoarding versus collecting and what not. A massive round of clearing has been done, but will I need to go through multiple rounds before I can say I’m satisfied. I never realised how much joy giving away stuff gave me, especially books; however that needs a separate post, so watch this space.
Reading and Writing (and Blogging): I guess one never stops learning new things about oneself. In this case, I learnt that if I am on a reading spree, I can’t write and vice versa. Also, reading is a stress buster and it calms me and grounds me like nothing else. And 2017 being what it was, it was a year of reading and, therefore, not the year of writing (and blogging). You may have noticed that this post comes 4 months after the last one ! Oh my poor neglected blog, I really need to make it up to you. [Draft posts, I’m looking at you]
WhatsApp Groups: I took the longest time to join WhatsApp and got sucked into WhatsApp groups immediately. Initially, it was fun — the intense discussions, the nostalgia, the gossip, everything. But then things went South fairly quickly and I got bored and irritated in no time. But I took a while to exit the groups because I genuinely liked the people in them and also because they were friends. But exit I did and I can’t tell you how relived I felt. It might sound funny but my quality of life improved as I didn’t have to deal with daily negativity and rants. I just wish I had realised earlier that WhatsApp groups are not for me. Lesson learnt.
I could go on listing all the lessons I learnt this year and as well as all the nasty things you sent my way, dear 2017. But your time is nearly up and I bid you goodbye and look ahead to 2018, not with the eagerness I welcomed you, but with mixed feelings. After all, the lessons and experiences you gave are still fresh in my mind.
Dear friend, how was 2017 for you? What are you hoping from 2018? Do share in the comments.
Wish you a very Happy New Year and I hope 2018 is everything that you hope and wish for! 🙂